by Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales
JBER Public Affairs
10/1/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Junior
ROTC students learn basic military knowledge, but not how to be a
military firefighter. Can they step up to the challenge?
The 673d Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters hosted a team-challenge
demonstration for the Eagle River High School JROTC to show them
first-hand what firefighters do.
"They wanted hands-on [experience], so why not let them simulate the
tasks?" asked Air Force Master Sgt. Louis Martinez, 673d CES
firefighter. "This lets them feel the physical rigors on scene. These
are some of the things we do in case of a fire or rescue."
The tasks ranged from pulling, lifting and connecting a fire hose, to climbing a ladder and dragging a 130-pound dummy.
"It lets them know [that even] without gear, it's a pain in the butt,"
Martinez said. "It's truly a challenge, but a completely different beast
in gear. We've got another 40 to 45 pounds of gear [while] doing these
The students were divided into six teams of five players each, one for
each station. After completing a station, that student tags the next
student until all the stations are complete.
The firefighters demonstrated each station and stayed as support in case
the tasks were too difficult or the students needed guidance.
The tasks put the students in the firefighters' bunker boots - without the weight of the gear or a real situation.
Megan Hancox, ERHS sophomore, participated in the fireman's drag -
considered the most challenging by the firefighters and her peers,
because it requires lifting the dummy by the torso and walking backwards
about 10 feet.
"It was much harder than I thought it would be, especially picking [the
dummy] up," Hancox said. "I knew it was going to be the most difficult
one, but it was fun."