Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting(ARFF) Team
ARFF is a special type of fire fighting that requires specialized training and equipment. Due to the mass casualty potential of an aviation emergency, the speed with which emergency response equipment and personnel arrive at the scene of the emergency is of paramount importance. Their arrival and initial mission is to secure the aircraft against all hazards, particularly fire, which increases the survivability of the passengers and crew on board. Airport firefighters have advanced training in the chemistry and application of firefighting foams, dry chemical and clean fire fighting agents, used to extinguish burning aviation fuels in and around an aircraft in order to protect passengers in the event of an emergency.
The Lubbock Fire Department’s Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Station #11 is based at the Lubbock Preston Smith Intl Airport. LIA is classified by the FAA as an Index C Airport. There are 18 personnel assigned to Station 11, (6 per shift) Station 11 has been dedicated to ARFF and at this time houses only the specialized equipment unique to ARFF type incidents. Two other Lubbock Fire Department stations also respond with station 11 for ARFF situations. Stations 2 and 5 crews are also crossed trained in ARFF and are considered part of the ARFF response.
The Lubbock Fire Department ARFF Division is also home to a 3-Million dollar, state of the art ARFF Live Fire Training Facility. This facility was funded by the FAA and intended as a regional training facility. It provides a wide variety of live fire training capabilities including ARFF truck operations and interior fire fighting challenges, utilizing hydrocarbon fuels (Diesel) for burning. Diesel fuel has almost identical burn characteristics to Jet A fuel, which is used in commercial airliners. This training is conducted in and around a full scale (Steel) mockup of a Boeing 737 which also provides several different engine and landing gear fire configurations. The training prop also offers live fire training for “Snozzel” operations. Over the years, the Lubbock Fire department ARFF Division has trained hundreds of ARFF Firefighters from all over the world.
In addition to the live fire training opportunities, the Lubbock Fire department ARFF Division also provides ARFF training with a retired Boeing 727-100 aircraft. This aircraft was donated by FedEx in 2006 to the Lubbock Fire Department ARFF Training division solely for training purposes and has been an excellent training aid. It provides for interior rescue training scenarios as well as aircraft familiarization.
It goes without saying, the ARFF training opportunities here in Lubbock are:
“AS REAL AS IT GETS”