If an aircraft crashes, there is often a fire, or threat of fire, that endangers the lives of pilot, crew, and passengers.
Students in Workshop
Firemen scramble during mock emergency
Instructor starts blaze around aircraft mockup
Students arrive at scene and begin to fight fire
Student firemen extinguish fire during training
This story was filmed during March, 1972, at Chanute AFB Illinois
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Background: If an aircraft crashes, there is often a fire, or threat of fire, that endangers the lives of pilot, crew, and passengers.
At the Air Force Fire Protection School, Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois, students spend hours in classroom and workshop situations designed to acquaint them with the special problems of fighting such fires, and the techniques and hardware available to help them reach and save the aircraft's occupants. In addition to classroom instruction, trainees get "hands-on" experience as they scramble to fire trucks in response to simulated emergencies.
Fuel is ignited around a mockup of a crashed plane and the student firemen put into practice the procedures they have learned. Teamwork is stressed. All communication is done by hand signals. For example, if a fireman going into the blaze gets too hot, he points to himself and is immediately sprayed with special protein foam by the horsemen behind him. Their insulated suits are designed to reflect 90 percent of a fire's heat up to 2,000 degrees.
The basic course lasts eight weeks, with tow hundred and forty men in each class. Air Force officials expect to graduate 1,800 men from the fire protection courses this year. The trained specialists will be assigned to bases throughout the world.