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A fire on the airport’s runway sparked for Rapid City’s Fire Departments knowledge

A call came in for a fire on the airport’s runway but Monday’s fire didn’t involve jet fuel. It was propane and designed to teach firefighters how to battle aircraft fires.
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:19 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Unlike typical firefighter training... Rapid City Fire Department’s Air Craft Rescue and Fire Fighting team do things a little differently. And Monday, they headed to the airport for a live-fire training that involves different skill sets

The training is required by the Federal Aviation Administration every year for any airport with commercial air traffic.

“What we’re basically trying to do is simulate as real as possible of an incident as we can,” said Captain Neill Goodart of the Rapid City Fire Department.

With a live-fire training prop and a realistic emergency aircraft, the team was able to simulate a burning aircraft, rather than a traditional fire of burning wood and grass.

“The biggest difference obviously is you dealing with an aircraft that’s going to have a lot of people on board of it, and the other thing is we’re dealing primarily with fuel fires here,” said Goodart.

Goodart says fuel fires have to be fought in a completely different fashion. For example, the trucks are spraying the fire at an angle instead of straight on.

Rapid City Fire Department has 13 firefighters who are aircraft rescue firefighting qualified. For the past two years, the department has been working with equipment from Minnesota in order to stay up to date in the training.

“This is a low frequency, high-risk call for us so it gives all of us a chance to practice our skills in a semi real-world environment which we don’t get to do very often,” said Goodart.

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