The full-scale aircraft exercise at the Fire Service Training Center (FSTC) at Tarrant County College Northwest Campus gave the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) and emergency respondents from the cities of Benbrook and Fort Worth a chance to check the effectiveness of their cooperative efforts.
This was done by simulating the crash of a military C-130 after a failed takeoff from the NASJRB at a golf course south of the runaway. As the closest local emergency respondents, firefighters from Benbrook were the first on site responding with a heavy rescue truck. Other apparatus arrived from the naval reserve base and Meacham Airport.
TCC offered to sponsor the drill because it provided an opportunity to be involved in increasing collaboration among emergency command and training for local and NASJRB fire firefighters, said TCC Dean Arrick Jackson. “This is important because the NASJRB is part of our real world environment as such emergency response agencies should ensure that they are well prepared to respond to a variety of emergencies that may occur within their response jurisdictions,” Jackson said. “We are excited about the many future training opportunities that may arise from this wonderful training exercise.”
Keith Wells, Fort Worth’s senior emergency management officer, praised the effectiveness the drill. “The exercise was very successful in allowing the participants to practice responding to a complex incident,” Wells said. “It is important to conduct exercises that give us the opportunity to work with multiple agencies in a challenging environment before we have to respond to the situation during an actual emergency.”
In addition to the drill planners and participants, future firefighters got a rare opportunity to see the drill first hand during the early days of their training. “It was a great opportunity for them to see,” said James Craft, assistant coordinator for the FSTC. “Our rookie class just started a few days ago.”
Coordinating the drill had a special meaning to Craft, a key drill organizer. “I saw this as the perfect window of opportunity to give back to our community for its commitment to TCC and our Fire Service Training Center,” he said, noting they were responsible for providing the funding that made the training center a reality. “We were able to give them a first-hand look at how our facility is being utilized to provide for the safety and welfare of its citizens.”