Black Smoke at Airport Part of Annual Training

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Some folks might have noticed a billowing cloud of black smoke coming from the Benny Benson Kodiak State Airport yesterday. While the cloud appeared rather ominous, it was actually a sign that local firefighters are hard at work training for emergencies.
Coast Guard Fire Chief Jeff Halcomb said the smoke was the product of a four hour training for about 30 firefighters.
“We do our annual live fire training at the state airport where we review our procedures for our guys to actually practice putting out fires with regards to aircraft emergencies.”
Halcomb said the training is required annually, but is typically done about three times a year.
“Well it entails putting out the fire in our training center that we have here at the state airport. Practice live fire training, get’s them exposed to the heat and the fire they’re going to be exposed to if the event happens where there’s a plane crash or something like that. Basically our crews have three minutes to get inside and rescue people if there’s a plane crash and a fire’s involved. So we practice the speed and recovery of people inside aircrafts.”
He said volunteers from Bayside and Womens Bay Fire Departments often take part in the training, but yesterday’s consisted of only Coast Guard fire personnel.

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