Navy Rescuers Practice Extrication

Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti is an expeditionary, forward-deployed military base in the Horn of Africa, where department leadership needs to be a bit more creative in developing training activities. Availability of resources can be a challenge in an...


Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti is an expeditionary, forward-deployed military base in the Horn of Africa, where department leadership needs to be a bit more creative in developing training activities. Availability of resources can be a challenge in an environment that is much different than most communities in the U.S.

This two-day training exercise from Oct. 21-22, was set up by Asst. Chief for Training Greg Fox, who saw the salvage vehicles as the perfect opportunity for the department to hone their rescue extrication skills.

"These guys don't have a lot of opportunities to pull out this equipment and see the many things it can do," Fox said. "Spending a few days working out here gives them confidence that they will know how to respond in an actual rescue scenario."

Camp Lemonnier's fire department personnel roster includes seven Djiboutian local national firefighter recruits, supporting a key goal of providing employment opportunities at the camp for local nationals. Other department personnel are native to the United States, South America and Asia.

The camp fire department must be ready to respond to a variety of wrecks and incidents, most notably from a wide array of military aircraft that use the base on a frequent basis. The camp also employs about 2,500 people, many of whom live on base in small containerized living quarters that present their own unique emergency response challenges.

In these photos, the base's firefighters are seen practicing rescue equipment operation techniques on all-terrain vehicles that were scheduled to be scrapped. The training allowed the department to hone its skills to maintain readiness for vehicle and other mishaps.

Camp Lemonnier fire department Capt. James Redpath is seen honing his rescue extrication skills using a spreader tool, and firefighters are seen using cutting and spreader rescue equipment.

In addition, a Camp Lemonnier firefighter practices vehicle extrication skills using a chop saw as a fellow crew member looks on with a fire line. Finally, firefighters cool down some hot metal after cutting it with a chop saw.