Fire Departments trained in airplane firefighting

Two members of the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department combating a simulated airplane fire at Bonaire International Airport.

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS–The Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department BKCN held an airplane firefighting training exercise recently at the grounds of Bonaire International Airport (BIA).

  BKCN is not only responsible for regular firefighting duties but also for airplane firefighting on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The exercise concerned an in-service training in the field of airplane firefighting and was intended for all BKCN instructors, who now are able to give other colleagues within the Department in-service training.

  Four shift leaders and three officers from Bonaire, and one shift leader and two firemen from Statia participated in this physically demanding training exercise. A total of 10 participants and three fire engines were deployed.

  The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) applies very strict rules and requirements which fire departments must observe.

  The training exercise was very realistic with fire and smoke in an airplane during evening hours. To this effect a training object was constructed at BIA consisting of containers and other materials to imitate the fuselage of an airplane.

  There were two different mock cabins on the inside: one of a smaller airplane with one aisle, and one of a larger airplane with two aisles.

  In case of an airplane fire it is important for members of fire departments to reach an airplane fire within three minutes and to create a survivable situation as soon as possible in order to save as many human lives as possible.

  The training exercise was organised by BKCN instructor Ab Hoek and airplane-firefighting instructor at the Royal Netherlands Air Force Sergeant Major Frank Koenders, in collaboration with firefighting training institute BOGO.

  The exercise for instructors comprised a total of nine days of training, one of which was devoted to theoretical subjects.

  During the simulation, emphasis was also placed on cooperation with other emergency services, such as the Red Cross, the ambulance department, the Police and the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee.

Source: The Daily Herald