Firefighters train at the airport

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Firefighters in Bowling Green spent part of their week training at the Bowling Green – Warren County Regional Airport.

Those firefighters spent Monday and Tuesday nights going through different simulations and learning how to maneuver through the airport while avoiding incoming and outgoing aircrafts.

The training is part of the FAA’s mandatory yearly training requirements at the airport.

The purpose of the training is to prepare firefighters for any and all real-life situations.

According to Bowling Green Fire Department’s Marlee Boenig, the training is crucial.

“The airport is a very complicated place. It has lots of things that we have to remember that are different than a normal response to say a structure fire in the city. So, it’s great for us to come out, especially for our new people to see everything that we’ve talked about in class and they can actually get some practical learning by actually driving on the airport and seeing where everything is,” said Boenig.

Knowing how to get different locations at the airport quickly and safely with airplanes coming and going is not as simple as it may sound.

Susan Harmon, the Bowling Green- Warren County Regional Airport manager, said the grounds can be confusing, especially at night.

“Just trying to do some actual real-life scenarios that would actually happen out here. Obviously, aircraft accidents can but we can also have fires at buildings or medical emergencies that might occur, so they need to know where to go. There are certain areas that when they get to, they have to go a different way, it’s a dead end. So, they have to know where the different hangers are on both sides and where all the facilities are and how to get there. We have access roads around the property as well so they can utilize those too,” said Harmon.

And if there were a real plane crash, jet fuel burns at an extremely high temperature and water won’t put it out.

“One of our airport vehicles has a special foam on it that will put that fuel out when it’s burning which is obviously a major concern when there is an airplane crash because you want to get that fire out so you can get any victims out. So, it is very important for us to come out here and do some practice with that vehicle,” said Boenig.

That foam, coming out of a hose operated from inside the vehicle using a joystick.

Firefighters will conclude their training at the airport tonight.