Battalion Fire Chief - Safety & Training
The Safety & Training Division is staffed with a Battalion Fire Chief and two Captains. The Battalion Fire Chief is assigned to Fire Headquarters, while each airport has an assigned Captain. All three members of the Safety & Training Division staff work to coordinate training and incident safety officer related functions.
An additional duty of the Safety & Training Division staff is the fulfillment of the role of incident safety officers during emergency incidents on the two airport campuses. Incident Safety Officers play a vital role in an emergency incident and having personnel cross-trained and available in this function allows department personnel to fill this role. The Safety & Training Division staff also assists in the investigation of all departmental vehicle accident and personnel injuries.
The Safety & Training Division is tasked with planning and providing initial and recurrent training and career development. As an all hazards fire and rescue organization, personnel participate in a rigorous and extensive annual training program to ensure all training benchmarks and core competencies are met.
A major portion of the annual training program is the completion of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) required Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) training categories under 14 CFR Part 139.319. Each member is required to complete a minimum of one class every twelve consecutive calendar months and in nearly all cases department members far-exceed these requirements. These categories include the following categories:
- Adapting Structural Rescue and Firefighting to ARFF
- Aircraft Cargo Hazards
- Aircraft Familiarization
- Airport Emergency Plan
- Application of Extinguishing Agents
- Day and Night Airport Familiarization
- Emergency Communications & Alarms
- Emergency Passenger Evacuation
- Firefighter Operations
- Movement Area/Security Identification Movement Area (SIDA)
- Personal Safety
- Use of Hose, Nozzles, Turrets and Other Appliances
- Driver/Operator Turret Refresher Training
- Live Fire Drill
Annual FAA Live Fire Training
Each year, departmental personnel complete live fire training requirements at the department’s Live Fire Training Facility. Typically, personnel pass through the facility twice a year and complete training scenarios and simulations on the various props that are located on site. The props at the LFTF give the ARFF training cadre the ability conduct a multitude of training scenarios, giving the participants the ability to practice with realistic conditions.
The LFTF features a 125’ diameter burn area, which allows for fires in full engulfment, quadrants, or any combination thereof. Fires are initiated via computer in the control tower and ignited via a propane supplied grid system. The burn area features four quadrants, seventy-eight zones and two hundred and thirty-four thermal couplers that allow the training staff to create a multitude of training fires and scenarios.
Located in the center of the burn area is a 75’ length by 8’ wide aircraft mockup, roughly the size of a Boeing 737, which simulates a narrow frame aircraft. It allows personnel to simulate a multitude of the activities that an airport firefighter could encounter during an airport or aircraft emergency. The interior of the aircraft is equipped with the following features and allows personnel make entry to the aircraft, advance hose lines and simulate extrication and rescue of trapped passengers in an aircraft emergency.
Multiple rows of seats and overhead baggage bins, a forward and aft bulkhead, two full size functioning egress doors, two over wing exits and flight deck with seats and console.
- Wheel and Engine Fire Prop: A wheel fire and engine fire prop was constructed to satisfy the ARFF initial certification and recurrent training requirements. The wheel and engine prop allows the ARFF training cadre to simulate wheel and engine type aircraft fires/emergencies and complete the job performance requirements for the NFPA 1003 and 405 standards, along with FAA Part 139 training.
- Helicopter Training Prop: A replica Blackhawk helicopter was constructed to simulate helicopter emergencies. The prop is portable and has been used in several large scale exercises, as well as positioned in different locations for department drills during recurrent training.
- In 2011, the Safety & Training Division took delivery of a propane storage tank from Blossman Gas in Berryville, Virginia, at no cost to the FRD or the Airports Authority. The tank was rendered unusable after being damaged while being delivered and could not be used in the storage of propane. The propane tank will serve as an LPG training prop once burners have been added to simulate LPG tank emergencies.
In addition to monthly FAA required ARFF recurrent training, personnel complete training in structural firefighting, emergency medical services, water rescue, hazardous materials/dangerous goods and MetroRail/AeroTrain system operations. Newly hired personnel undergo an extensive orientation program that introduces them to the wide spectrum of all hazards operations that the MWAA FRD maintains responsibility for at the two airport campuses and surrounding communities.
Each department member, at a minimum, possesses the following State, Pro Board or IFSAC professional qualifications:
- NFPA 472: Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations
- NFPA 1001: Firefighter I & II
- NFPA 1002: Driver/Operator Pumper & Aerial
- NFPA 1003: Airport Firefighter
- Emergency Medical Technician Basic or Paramedic
- Emergency Vehicle Operator
Additionally, Departmental Officers possess the following Pro Board or IFSAC professional qualifications:
- NFPA 1021: Fire Officer I, II and III
- NFPA 1041: Fire Service Instructor I, II and III
- NFPA 1521: Incident Safety Officer