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U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Andrew House, a firefighter with Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting, drops a charged hose during an initial Firefighter Assessment conducted at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, Jan 6, 2022. The Firefighter Assessment is an annual requirement to ensure all firefighters are able to perform their duties safely and properly. Firefighters were given the opportunity to run an intial assessment in order to ensure success when they conduct the real thing during their birth month.

Photo by U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance

Practice for Perfection

10 Jan 2022 | Lance Cpl. Symira Bostic Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Aircraft fires aren’t something you see every day. Nonetheless, the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point ensure they stay prepared and proficient in case of an emergency.

ARFF conducted a practice firefighter assessment at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, Jan. 6, 2022. The assessment is an annual requirement to ensure all firefighters are able to perform their duties safely and properly. Firefighters were given the opportunity to run a practice assessment in order to ensure success when they conduct the official one during their birth month.

“The practice assessment offers the opportunity to measure our deficiencies so we can do better when we run the actual assessment.” U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Colby Bourn, an ARFF firefighter


For the practice assessment, firefighters were geared up in partial bunker gear. During the official assessment, they will be equipped with full bunker gear including a mask, self-contained breathing apparatus, and more. In total, their gear weighs more than 60 pounds.

The practice assessment course consists of nine challenges: a hose carry, a ladder raise, a charged hose pull, victim drag, a stair climb, gear pull, a tire slam simulating a forced entry, lowering of a ladder, and a gear carry. These challenges are intended to simulate the most common firefighting operations firefighters would need to perform in real life scenarios.

“There hasn’t been a major aircraft incident at Cherry Point in some time,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Donovan O’Rourke, one of the fire station captains. “But ARFF Marines have to stay ready and capable in the event of an emergency.”


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