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92nd CES fire department implements life-saving training

92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters work together to rescue a downed firefighter during a demonstration of their Rapid Intervention Crew training Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The demonstration was part of a visit by Col. James Kossler, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Detachment 9 commander, to show the progression and implementation of RIC training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters work together to rescue a downed firefighter during a demonstration of their Rapid Intervention Crew training Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The demonstration was part of a visit by Col. James Kossler, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Detachment 9 commander, to show the progression and implementation of RIC training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters conduct Rapid Intervention Crew training Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The crew simulated rescuing two downed firefighters and successfully and safely evacuated the simulated environment by using the various tools available to them. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters conduct Rapid Intervention Crew training Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The crew simulated rescuing two downed firefighters and successfully and safely evacuated the simulated environment by using the various tools available to them. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

Kimo Kuheana, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire chief, discusses Fairchild Fire Department’s Rapid Intervention Crew training program with Col. James Kossler, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Detachment 9 commander, Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The AFIMSC was established to help the Air Force make the best use of limited resources in the management and operation of its installations; Detachment 9 oversees functions in the comptroller, civil engineer, communications, security forces, personnel and support career fields. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

Kimo Kuheana, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire chief, discusses Fairchild Fire Department’s Rapid Intervention Crew training program with Col. James Kossler, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Detachment 9 commander, Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The AFIMSC was established to help the Air Force make the best use of limited resources in the management and operation of its installations; Detachment 9 oversees functions in the comptroller, civil engineer, communications, security forces, personnel and support career fields. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters complete the last step of the Rapid Intervention Crew training course Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The team must work together to safely rescue and evacuate fellow firefighters who are injured or lost within a structure fire. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters complete the last step of the Rapid Intervention Crew training course Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The team must work together to safely rescue and evacuate fellow firefighters who are injured or lost within a structure fire. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters help a fellow firefighter escape the entanglement trainer Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The entanglement trainer is one of the various obstacles used during the Rapid Intervention Crew training to simulate a structure fire. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters help a fellow firefighter escape the entanglement trainer Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The entanglement trainer is one of the various obstacles used during the Rapid Intervention Crew training to simulate a structure fire. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters rescue a down firefighter from the entanglement trainer during a demonstration of their Rapid Intervention Crew training Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The demonstration was part of a visit by Col. James Kossler, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Detachment 9 commander, to show the progression and implementation of RIC training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters rescue a down firefighter from the entanglement trainer during a demonstration of their Rapid Intervention Crew training Mar. 29, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The demonstration was part of a visit by Col. James Kossler, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Detachment 9 commander, to show the progression and implementation of RIC training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Being a firefighter is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Entering a structure fire as the flames start to grow, oxygen levels diminish and the heat steadily rises to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit is just a normal day of the week for a firefighter.

As the floors begin to buckle and the flames begin to leave ash in their wake, a firefighter can find himself in a situation difficult to overcome alone.

Rapid Intervention Crew training teaches fire service members, both military and civilian, the procedures and skills necessary to effectively rescue their brother and sister firefighters during the worst fire ground situations.

“The skills involved include the recognition of problems associated with firefighter deaths and actions to be taken to minimize these risks,” said Dave Dinges, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron lead firefighter. “The training focuses on situational awareness, modern fire environment characteristics, modern building construction, search and rescue techniques for locating downed or missing firefighters and extricating downed firefighters.”

The Fairchild Fire Department has dedicated instructors who provide hours of RIC training each month to Fairchild firefighters. The team recently was recognized for their hard work and thorough RIC training plan and was selected to provide information and oversight for the building of an Air Force computer based training.

On Mar. 29, 2017, Col. James Kossler, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Detachment 9 commander, visited the Fairchild Fire Department to witness firsthand the RIC training and talked with department leadership on their progress and implementation of the training in departments across the country.

“The fire service is inherently dangerous,” Dinges said. “The purpose is to provide firefighting personnel and assigned rapid intervention teams the skill set to increase their chances of making it out of a bad situation or rescuing their fellow firefighter on the fire ground.”

Most large, metropolitan fire departments in the United States began using RIC teams in the early 1990s. The training builds on the basics of firefighting and how to better protect oneself and the firefighters around them.

In 2015, 70 firefighters died in the U.S. from various on-duty causes and Fairchild Fire Department is trying to do their part to not become a statistic, Dinges said.

The Fairchild Fire Department is also in the process of arranging a traveling team of RIC experts who will instruct various Department of Defense fire departments across the country on firefighter survival and rapid intervention skills.

“The dissemination of good training benefits all fire departments federal or municipal,” Dinges said. “This training can be utilized when we work with our community mutual aid partners on the fire ground. It can also be passed through other avenues to be utilized in departments that we do not directly work with.”