Emergency response training for Czech Fire Fighters

From this Monday on, some 300 international exercise participants train together under the international exercise Ample Strike 2014 (AMSE14) where Forward Air Controllers on the ground provide control to aircrew in the air.

During a meeting at 22nd Helicopter Base at Namest on Saturday, 6 September, all exercise participants received introductory briefings about AMSE14 to make them aware of the one big goal of the exercise – safety. Both the Base Commander, Colonel Jiří Vávra, and the Exercise Director, Colonel Miroslav Svoboda, stressed the need to conduct all training operations in compliance with safety rules.

Besides the exercise participants , the emergency rescue crews at all exercise locations in the Czech Republic also need to be aware of the specific technical safety aspects of participating aircraft. For this purpose, the Flight Operations Officer, Major Pavel Prochazka, and the Flight Safety Officer, Major Dalibor Krenek, together with members of the various national contingents conducted a hands-on instruction session. Czech firefighters and rescue operators where prepared for a potential emergency situation by the various international detachments who showed them how to perform rescue work on different types of aircraft while at the same time minimizing damage of the airframe.

Specifically, the experts demonstrated how to gain access to the aircraft, rescue the aircrew and handle the most dangerous equipment such as weapon systems, ammunition, fuel and pyrotechnical devices. "In any aircraft rescue operation it is essential to first secure the plane and contain the situation and then to rescue the crew," Major Krenek explained the established procedures.

During AMSE 14 in the Moravian region, the Czech Air Forces provide technical support for L-39, PC-9, Learjet and AH-64 Apache aircraft. Since the L-39 aircraft operated out of Namest until last year, this type of aircraft is not unknown to local firefighters. Therefore the safety instruction last Saturday focused on the German PC-9 and Learjet aircraft – which were deployed to Namest already in 2012 and 2013 – and, specifically, on the United States Army AH-64 Apache helicopters, which operate out of 22nd Air Base for the first time.

"This was the theoretical and hands-on preparation,” said Major Krenek. “On Tuesday we plan to practice a simulated alarm in which one Apache will ‘catch fire’ on the tarmac. Our base fire fighters will then be alarmed to secure the helicopter and rescue the pilots."

Author: Captain Jana Skrivankova, JMIC AMSE14

Photos: Lieutenant Josef Danhel, JMIC AMSE14

Posted: September 8, 2014