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419th firefighters test rescue skills in blazing jet

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Erica Webster
  • 419th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Reserve firefighters from the 419th Civil Engineer Squadron participated in an aircraft live-fire burn here Sept. 12, 2021, entering into a blaze to rescue three unaccounted for passengers.

“It’s extremely important to have training like this,” said Tech. Sgt. Jordan Castaneda, firefighter with the 419th CES. “Things need to flow properly so that when the call comes in, we are ready, organized, trained, and equipped to handle the situation.”

419th firefighters are required to participate in these burns twice a year, which also serve to strengthen teamwork.

“We can’t be a proficient team without frequent training,” said Chief Master Sgt. Shane Rutledge, fire chief with the 419th CES. “When one of our firefighters gets off a truck, everyone needs to know what they are going to do. Otherwise, we lose seconds and the ability to have a positive outcome.”

The 419th CES is home to 32 firefighters, some of whom also serve the local community as firefighters and paramedics, bringing their civilian experience to the military.

“We’re here to protect those who serve,” Rutledge said. “This team stands ready, and I’ve never been more proud to lead a team of professionals than I have right here.”

419th firefighters are equipped to deploy and provide firefighting, rescue, and hazardous materials.