April 30, 2013

Portland-area firefighters train for disaster at Jetport

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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A mannequin lies in the aisle of the Aircraft Rescue Fire Trainer during the annual FAA training exercise at the Portland International Jetport in Portland on Tuesday.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer

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Firefighters conduct an annual FAA training exercise for responding in case of a fire on board a plane at the Portland International Jetport in Portland on Tuesday.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

If the temperature gets too hot or the equipment senses a propane leak, it will automatically shut down, he said.

Fletcher, who worked for years as an active-duty firefighter with the Air Force, now does a similar assignment with the National Guard in addition to his training work with the college.

One firefighter complimented Fletcher on his simulation, saying manufactured flare-ups while the crews were inside the aircraft are the kind of unforeseen event that firefighters would have to adapt to during an operation.

Portland's Air Rescue Firefighting Division has the city's most sophisticated and specialized firefighting apparatus. "Red Four," the department's heavy rescue truck at the airport, has a roof-mounted "snozzle" to direct intense bursts of foam from high up in the air.

That's important, said Fletcher, to prevent flaming liquids from splashing up into the area where firefighters are planning a rescue.

Then a bumper-mounted nozzle spreads the flames to either side, creating the rescue path.

The roof-mounted apparatus includes a harpoon-like device designed to puncture the skin of an aircraft to release heat and fill it with foam if needed, though that wasn't used Tuesday.

LaMoria said he was pleased with the caliber of the training.

"It's a very realistic exercise and it is very important to maintain this very technical, high-level ability of our airport rescue firefighters," he said.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@mainetoday.com

 

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Additional Photos

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Firefighters practice extinguishing a fire on board a plane as part of an annual FAA training exercise at the Portland International Jetport in Portland on Tuesday.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

A firefighter positions a mannequin in the fuselage of an airplane for an training exercise at the Portland International Jetport on Tuesday. Part of the exercise involved firefighters rescuing mock passengers from the burning plane.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer

 


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