By Michelle Durham
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia firefighters based at Philadelphia International Airport must complete intensive training required by the FAA and the Fire Department. KYW Newsradio‘s Michelle Durham was there as they were put through their paces at a training facility on the airport property.
Training is crucial, and Captain Clem McLaughlin, Manager of the AARF Training Facility at Philadelphia International Airport, says those assigned there receive a great deal of it.
“It’s a totally different environment. The way we engage fires is different as is the way we dismount the apparatus and engage the fire on the interior,” McLaughlin explained.
Captain Al Tropiano was in charge of firing up the fuselage simulator, a life-size plane, which quickly filled with smoke.
Tropiano explains why aircraft familiarization courses are essential: “Narrow aisle — 18 inches. The other thing we need to know, is it a wide-body? We have two aisles to search.”
This is in addition to the work of securing the aircraft, putting the fire out, attending to victims and maintaining a safe environment so that the other runways can operate.