1. #1
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    Red face Baghdad Intl Airport Fire/Rescue

    Hey, my name is Matt and I'm currently deployed to Baghdad International Airport with the US Army as a firefighter. I have plenty of time on my hands, and very bored working alarm room shifts. I figured I'd start a thread on here to give information about what it's like fighting fire in Iraq. Anybody can ask questions, and I will answer to the best of my ability and to the extent that I can. You all know about "privalaged information" so I don't have to tell you. Please, respond to this thread and give me something to do on these long, boring 12 hour long stints sitting on a chair staring at a computer. Thanks!

    Spc. Matthew Hulme
    US Army Fire/Rescue

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    Thumbs up

    WELCOME BROTHER AND THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
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    Matt, so good of you to check in! Thank you for everything you and the troops do for our great country! BE SAFE!!

    First question; are local firefighting resources back on line, and what capabilities do they offer?

    Second question; What engines/trucks/equipment are staged at the airport complex, and what are the limits of your response area? Do you only support local resources, or are you totally responsible for all initial attack?

    Third; What security measures take place to protect the firefighting crews during response? If you are unable to answer that...we understand.

    Ed Seifert
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    Lightbulb Response capabilities

    REPLY TO NJFFSA16

    Ed, here are the answers to your questions.
    1. Right now we are in the process of training Iraqi civilians that used to be firefighters at the airport. They have had almost no formal training, and havn't worked here since the end of the first war. We are actually living and working out of their old fire station. Once all their crews are up and ready (total about 90 firefighters) then we will hand over another station to them. They are currently in the process of dividing the airport into a military side and a civilian side. Obviously we'll protect the military side, and the civilian runway will be protected by the Iraqi firefighters. We've already trained one group of about 20, and we're working with the second group now.

    2. Our apparatus (when everything is in service, which isn't very often) consists of 4 Amertek Macy 2500L's. Nobody has ever heard of them, but they are a combination crash truck and structural truck. We also have two 6,000 gallon water tankers and 5 HUMMVEE's. We use the hummers for chief vehicles, rescue vehicles, and special service vehicles. We are currently working with the US Air Force as well. They supply 3 P-19 crash trucks, and two brush vehicles. We also have three comandeered Iraqi Somati crash trucks. We support both of the runways, and all of the military assets on the base, which is large. Military fixed wing aircraft and helos. There are also humanitarian aircraft that land on the civilian side.

    3. You're right, I need to pick my words carefully to answer this question. Suffice it to say that we are always protected in some way. The only thing we'll usually have to worry about is the fire. I use the term "usually" loosely.

    Any other questions, feel free to ask. I will be submitting lots of pictures to the "In Quarters" section of firehouse. Figure it'd be nice for people to see how we live over here.

    Matt

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    I just wanted to jump in here and say hello and thanks for what you are doing. God Bless all of you and keep you safe.

    The first two folks to welcome you are very well respected in the forum and I echo thier comments and accolades.

    In a rush right now...but am sure I will have some questions.

    Stan
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    Post Reply to E40FDNYL35

    E40FDNYL35 - I wanted to mention that I read the book that's on E40/L35 and I really enjoyed it. I'm sure you've heard all this over and over again, but I'll say it anyway. In everything surrounding 9/11, I think people have fallen into the whole "statistic" thing. Where they just think, yeah 343 firefighters died in the World Trade Center. They don't stop to think that each and every one of them had a family. A mother, a father, sister, wife, kids. They also forget the fact that every single firefighter in the world was their brother. They don't think that all of us felt an unimaginable loss that day, even if some didn't know any of the firefighters (I knew two brothers that were lost). Well, I hope I havn't overstated myself. I just wanted to let you know that I loved the book about your company, and that my thoughts and prayers are still with the families and all of you there, even almost two years after the attacks.

    Respectfully,

    Matt

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    hi and thank you for what your doing over there.
    the question that i have is do guys get any kind of weapons? if you cant answer thats ok.

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    Default Amerteks Rule

    Hey Army- I have heard of the Amerteks. They are really great truck as long as you dont have to fight any fire in them. It was a poor cheeper copy of the P-19. As you can see for your self they are Junk. I would take a AS32 P-19A or a P-23 any day of the week. Oskosh has some tried and true Crask Trucks. Starting with the MB-1. Hows the food? Are you on day on stay on or do you have some free time? If you have free time what do you all do, to pass the time that is. Any good Beach Volly ball games? You guys take care of one another overthere. Be Safe. Neman
    “Just when you think something is made to be Idiot Proof. They go a head and make a better Idiot”

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    Great Job /thumbsup.

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    Default Quigger and Neman13

    Quigger - yeah, we are considered soldiers before we're firefighters. That, and it would be asanine to put us in a combat zone wearing an Army uniform without a weapon. We carry M-16s. We've been trying to get M9 pistols because we're firefighters, but with no luck so far. Thanks for the question. Take care and stay safe back home.

    Neman13 - You are right about the Amertek's, they are good unless you need to do your job. Then they suck. I'd much rather have a P-19. P-23's have a chronic problem with losing wheels. Oshkosh does have a good reputation. We'll be getting new fire trucks somewhere down the line from Oshkosh, but built on a Hemmit chassis, which also sucks. Turning radias is horrible. Anyway, on to the other questions. The food is surprisingly good, for Army food. Free time is usually spent sleeping. The heat is pretty intense, all you want to do is retreat into some A/C and sleep the day away. We are currently in the process of getting some sand (we're in a desert!) delivered to make a sand volley ball court. We work 24-on 24-off. We all try to stay safe over here on a daily basis. For the most part the dangers aren't much more than back home fighting fire. You guys take care as well!

    Stay safe,

    Matt

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    Hi Matt, I have a couple questions. first off, what color are the trucks? army green? or another color? are the trucks equiped like a civilian fire truck would be in the US, or is there more/less/different equipment? do you have full gear (firefighter boots, helmets, coats, pants, hoods, gloves, SCBA, mask, etc)? is your gear different than what the iraqi FFs have? how do you do manpower issues with the iraqis? is it 3 military FFs and 1 or 2 iragi FFs per engine, or is it 1 engine with all military people, and one engine with all iraqi people? do you guys do EMS too? how busy are you guys, what's the average # of calls per 24 hours shift? does the military protect just the airport, or are there other fire stations set up throughout the city?

    good luck with starting the new department in iraq, and stay safe.
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    Hey Army, thanx for serving our country. If theres anything you guys need overthere, make a list and ill see what I can get for you guys. Now for the questions.
    1) Were is your unit based out of?
    2) Do you respond to EMS calls or just fire?
    3) Do you have tones in your living quaters or how are you alerted to a call?
    4) What are your plans after you get out, or are you career

    Thanx,

    C/A1C AJ Zuccarelli USAFJROTC
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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    Hey specialist,

    As a former Marine I can only imagine what you boys and girls are doing right now. I keep you in my thoughts and prayers often. Along with the others, I wish to send you my gratitude and thanks. Extend my best wishes to the boys in your unit.

    I really only have one question. We really only seem to get one side of the news and they only seem to report when one of our men uniform is killed so my question is this.

    What is teh overall feeling of the Iraqi people? Are they still greatful or do they tend to have a lot of resentment towards teh U.S, G.B. and Aussies? I understand that many of them are going through tremendous hardships now, but as we do not seem to get the whole picture I am curious to your observations.

    Also, I know that I only said one question but I was a Marine and can't eally count, if there is anything you boys need shipped on over I'm sure we'd be willing to help you out with personal supplies and such. Let us know.
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    Hello ARMY and thank you for everything that you do. My town respondes to a very busy airport in the next town. I am a A.R.F.F also. On the website www.airliners.net they have some pictures of the airport there. There was a Boeing 727 in one of the pictures that looked like it had been blown up a long time ago but they said it was still there. Is the airport still a mess?
    Again thank you for everything. I have a good friend there in the 3rd division.
    This space for rent

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    I have another 2 questions for ya matt. with the attack and killing of saddams 2 sons do you think there will be more attacks on our soldiers and you over there or no? What is the feeling of the news about the sons beening dead?

    stay safe and keep your head down out there

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    Question Hey KW......

    Originally posted by KyleWickman
    My town respondes to a very busy airport in the next town.
    Teterboro? Which department are you in, Carlstadt, E. Rutherford, Moonachie......?

    NJ
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    Default Firefighting in Iraq

    Matt,

    I know its a different airfield and these are AF guys but here's some pictures I found.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Here's another one, these are in Northern Iraq.

    Stay safe brother.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Morristown Airport (mmu) last time I checked it was ranked number 2 in the state.
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    Exclamation Lots of questions...

    Woah, this thread has gotten alot of response. I love it though. Gives me something to do. Plus it's always good to educate people on exactly what we're doing out here. If anybody wants to talk personally and get a better idea, post your e-mail, I'll make sure I get back to you.

    DrParasite - Yes, our trucks are Army green, they have the same basic equipment that a civilian truck would have. The compartment space is very limited though. I may post some pictures in the future so you can see. It's a 4 person engine, driver, crew chief, and two guys in jumpseats in the back. We have a full compliment of structural gear and crash gear. We use interspiro air packs. The Iraqi firefighters aren't up and running yet, once they are, they will be using their trucks, and we'll be using ours, probably not doing too much together, but I'm sure we'll have a mutual aid agreement with them. Right now the Iraqis don't have any gear at all, they are in the process of getting them gear. When they do get it, they'll have better stuff than us. Most EMS is handled by Air Force EMEDS, but every firefighter is at least a first responder. We don't get too many calls, average 1 or 2 every 24 hour shift. Sometimes more, sometimes less, just like at home. We just protect the airport, I'm not sure exactly what kind of fire protection Baghdad itself has.

    BLSboy - I answered your EMS question in my answer to DrParasite. We are Army Reserves based out of Norristown, PA. We are alerted to any aircraft emergency with an air horn and over the radio. Any other emergency we are just alerted over the radio. Every military firefighter has a radio, and all the trucks have mobile radios. My plans when I get home, well...hopefully to get a paid position on a military installation. Right now I volunteer.

    DaSharkie - HOORAH DEVIL DOG! I trained with some Marines when I went through military fire school. You guys are something else. I have alot of respect for the Marine Corps. To answer your question, all the Iraqis that I have met have been great. Very polite, want to do anything for you. I'm not sure if it's just the brotherhood coming into affect though, I mean, these guys are firefighters. Of the few times that I have gone "out" I have met "the good and the bad" I think that there are alot of mixed feelings right now. I can only imagine the way that they live over here normally, and to have a foreign military come in and take over must really suck for them. I sympathize with them, but I know our cause is just, and they will realize this in the years to come. Ooh yea, you mentioned the Aussies, I have never met a bunch of guys and gals that are always chipper and upbeat as much as the Aussies are. They staff the air traffic control tower, which I talk to frequently, and they are always in a very good mood. Just thought I'd give them their just dues.

    KyleWickman - There is a junkyard here with a whole lot of blown up planes and stuff, the airport itself has been cleaned up and it almost ready to start operating normally.

    Quigger - I have mixed feelings on the killing of Saddam's two sons. I think they may have been behind some of the attacks, but not all of them. I think that alot of the Iraqi people are happy because his sons were very brutal to the Iraqis. Off the record, I don't think that they should have allowed reporters to photograph and videotape the bodies. President Bush wouldn't allow Al-Jazeera to broadcast the bodies of dead Americans, I don't think that he should have allowed them to broadcast the bodies of dead Iraqis. It is also against alot of Islamic customs to display bodies like that. Again, that's off the record.

    NFD159 - Thanks for the pictures.

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    Default Hooooo RAHHHHH!

    Greetings Lads,from the boys at the APGFD! A tip of the helmet to you all; leather in our case, Kevlar in yours! Hope you all are safe and sound.....We're keeping em cold for you, and we'll see you when you get back to de-mobilize! Tell Gostonyi that he is my hero!


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    Default APGFD!!

    Hello boys! How is everybody doing back home? We are staying safe, no real problems, thanks to all the training you guys gave us! Thanks for keeping em cold for us. We'll need em. It's hot over here! You gentlemen stay safe over there!

    Matt and everybody from the 369th

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    Thumbs up

    Hey army! I hope you guys are doing alright over there and I know that our department is backing you guys and proud of everything you guys are doing to help out over there. We have a guy serving over there from our department and I dont know if you can get a word to him somehow but if you can tell him that we all miss him very much back here at home. His name is specialist Cory Tabbert and his address is
    Specialist Tabbert,Cory
    A company 244th ENBN
    130th ENBDE
    APO AEO9302

    We call him "sparky" and he is a really great kid and miss having him around the station back here. I dont know if you can get word to him or not, but it would be great if you could try. Last we heard he was protecting a water tower with his unit and they were firing and being fired upon during the nights. My question is this speaking of cold ones, do you guys get to have some cold ones every once and awhile during down time? And if so what cold ones do you guys get? I hope you guys stay safe and let us know if we can do anything to help you guys out in anyway. Stay safe brother.

    Scott
    somers fire dept.
    Somers,Wi.
    shoneyfire63@yahoo.com
    "PUT THE WET STUFF ON THE RED STUFF"

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    Matt,
    Do you know Maj. Brent Gerald? He is a Capt. in my fire dept. currently deployed in Baghdad. The military has placed him in charge of reorganizing and resturcturing the Iraqi FD. We get occasional updates from him and his Stateside wife. Keep up the good work. All of you are in my prayers.
    Jeff Eaton
    GFD
    FTM-PTB Central NC Chapter
    IAFF Local 947

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    Matt great pictures of your station! I like the last one the best lol. Keep up the great work you guys do over there and stay safe!

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