The Joint Task Force-Bravo’s 612th Air Base Squadron is conducting the Central America Sharing Mutual Operational Knowledge and Experiences exercise (CENTAM SMOKE) in Honduras. Five Belizean firefighters are participating in the training where they are learning about safety, personal protective equipment, structural and helicopter live fire evolution, vehicle extrication, aircraft familiarization and wildland fires. Love News spoke with Orin Smith, Station Officer for the National Fire Service, who said that the exercise takes place twice a year in April and August.
Orin Smith, Station Officer, National Fire Service: “It’s a training that is aimed at fostering relationships between the US and firefighters here within Central America. Basically, their relationship fosters mutual interest between the US Air Assets and Central American firefighters. These firefighters are able to interact in mutual response with US Air Assets in various training and relief efforts. It sharpens the firefighter’s skills, makes them more robust and makes them able to function at various different emergencies, live-fire training basically and live exercises. With all the training that you get most scenes that you go to are not the same as the last, they’re all different in some ways so the more you are exposed to these types of training it enables you to be more flexible, to assess the scene more appropriately and come up with the best tactic and strategy to neutralize that scene, to make it safe for not just the people that might be affected by it or trapped within such environment but for your very responders that respond as well.”
The five-day training comes to an end today. Firefighters from other Central American Countries were a part of the training.