Kadena, Nirai fire departments participate in joint training exercise Published July 18, 2006 By Tech. Sgt. Kevin Wallace 18th Wing Public Affairs KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department and the Nirai Fire Department (Chatan Town, Kadena Town, and Yomiton Village) participated in a joint fire training exercise, July 14, at the Kadena Fire Department’s training site. Sixty firefighters, 16 vehicles to include a fire truck and emergency vehicles, participated in their third joint fire training exercise since reaching a mutual aid agreement in 2004. The agreement was to assist each other in emergency situations should either department need assistance. “We have conducted joint training with the local fire department for several years,” said Tech. Sgt. Jerame Bullard, 18th CES assistant fire chief on duty during the exercise. “This training validates our procedures for joint operations with surrounding departments to better serve the Okinawa community.” The purpose of the training was to understand each department’s capabilities, operational methods and to foster good relations between each department in order to effectively respond to potential off-base incidents. “This training is necessary to ensure that my fire department and Kadena Air Base’s fire department continue to train on each other’s equipment and tactics and keep our relationships renewed so in the event of an actual emergency, we already have a general understanding of the most practical ways to work together,” said Masanori Chibana, Narai Fire Department chief. The scenario consisted of a simulated commercial airplane crash in the Kadena area. As a result of the crash, a nearby residence caught fire and a truck transporting hazardous material overturned. Fire teams from the base and the Nirai Fire Department responded to each objective simultaneously. “We want to make sure that if the call comes for Kadena Fire and Emergency Services to assist off-base fire departments with hazardous material response or any type of emergency, that we are ready,” Sergeant Bullard said.