Military feature: Base, Clovis firefighters train in joint exercise at Cannon

Jared Tucker

Cannon Air Force Base and Clovis fire departments teamed up July 26 for their annual airplane fire response training at the base.

The two-hour training exercise is a Federal Aviation Administration requirement for fire departments that serve airports, according to Clovis Fire Department Training Officer Rick Potter.

“The easiest and the cheapest and the best way for us to do that is to come out here where they actually have a prop to do it on,” Potter said.

Eighteen firefighters from Clovis and nine from Cannon Fire Department trained on Cannon’s burn plane, a propane-fueled replica designed to simulate scenarios, including engine, cockpit, cargo bay, flight deck and fuel-on-the-ground fires.

Potter said besides the obvious benefits of continued training and staying current with FAA requirements, it’s good to train on scenarios that may never become a reality.

“The whole idea actually, is the things you don’t do very often are the things you need to practice on the most,” Potter said.

Lt. Joel Gershon of the Clovis FD, a third-generation firefighter, has been serving the department for eight years. Gershon said he enjoys the rare opportunity to come out and participate with Cannon Fire Department.

“It’s awesome. It’s something we don’t get to do everyday …they have a great set-up out here,” Gershon said.