Ramstein Airmen take part in fire officer course in England

by Senior Airman Rachel Waller
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

RAF MILDENHALL, England — Airmen and Ministry of Defence employees from bases across the U.K. and Germany attended the Fire Officer II Course here March 27 through April 12.

Through classroom instruction and tabletop exercises, the students from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, RAF Menwith Hill, RAF Alconbury, RAF Croughton, RAF Lakenheath and Ramstein Air Base learned about command and control of emergency incidents.

The course was taught by a mobile team of instructors from the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.
Master Sgt. Matthew Luetkemeyer, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron assistant chief of fire training, said this course is the second of four courses in the fire officer courses related to command and control within the fire department.

“The Fire Officer II Course is going to prepare our NCOs and civilians to move up the chain in the fire department, transitioning from crew chiefs and engine captains to eventually becoming assistant fire chiefs and station captains,” he said.

Matt Simmons, Louis F. Garland Fire Academy fire instructor, said the instruction team brought with them lesson plans and study guides for students that the attendees would have received if they took the class at the academy.

“We also brought our command and control simulator,” Simmons said. “On the simulator we can show an emergency incident on the (projector) screen of either a facility or aircraft. We can add smoke, fire and sound so it’s like you’re really on the scene of an emergency but through visual media.”

Luetkemeyer said all of the materials helped the students learn different aspects of managing emergencies, how to assign tasks and how to coordinate efforts in emergency situations.

A couple of the students highlighted some of the benefits to taking the course.

“The course will help my career advancement and help me gain a better perspective on how a chief officer works,” said Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Ivey, 100th CES fire department crew chief.

Kristian Hillier, 421st Civil Engineer Squadron fire department training officer, RAF Menwith Hill, said one of the benefits for him was the sense of camaraderie between the military and civilians.

“The camaraderie between the military and civilian sides has been excellent,” Hillier said. “We’ve worked together well and it’s nice to see the two sides of the house can integrate exceptionally well.”

“It has been a great opportunity to have the instructors from Goodfellow AFB here to teach this course,” Luetkemeyer said. “The cost savings alone is a huge savings for us.”