USAG Daegu Fire department continues to improve its capabilities


DAEGU GARRISON — The Army makes continuous efforts to improve the quality of life for Soldiers, Family members and Civilians. United States Army Garrison Daegu’s Fire and Emergency services, in the Directorate of Emergency Services (DES), fills a key role in protecting that quality of life. Recently, the USAG Daegu Fire Dept. was awarded as the Installation Management Command Pacific Region Medium-size Fire Department of the Year, as well as having the Fire Prevention Program of the Year.

Not resting on their laurels, the Fire Dept. built a new state-of-the-art live fire training facility on Station #3 at Camp Carroll. The new live fire training facility consists of various props or set ups to simulate high rise fires, rope rescue, confined space training, Aircraft Rescue Firefighting, vehicle fire training, and mayday.

The facility is built to provide safe training for the firefighters, which in turn results in a safer community for everyone.

“The facility we had before had become dilapidated and unsafe for live fire training,” said  Michael Champaco, training chief, who has 21 years of experience in the fire service. “It is why we decided to renovate the existing fire training facility is to provide for realistic proficiency training as required annually in the fire service. The new facility replaces an older facility that was made by our firefighters to meet the training demands we have within the organization.”

Second, the new renovation is for the community in a sense that the community will “benefit from the new facility as it provides a safe area for firefighters to practice their skills on a regular basis.  This is vital for the upkeep of skills in the ever changing evolutions of the fire service.”

With the new facility close by, it allows the fire department to better prepare firefighters for different training that requires various skill levels such as certifying firefighters with Firefighter I and II course, Rescue Technician course, just to name a few. “With the improvements to the training equipment and the site itself we now have the premier fire training facility in Korean Peninsula,” said Champaco.

According to the Fire Dept., all items together, including construction, cost a total of $811,000. The funds came from various sources as they had to seek innovative funding strategies to build the facility. An aggregation of Fire and Emergency Services internal budget, unfunded requirements, end of the year funds, and Army Safety and Occupational Health Career Program (CP-12) made it possible to complete the project that took careful consideration and concerted efforts for 2 years, from initiating the project to being able to utilize the facility.

“Initially, the facility will be used by Fire and Emergency Services, Directorate of Emergency Services, United States Army Garrison Daegu, with the possibilities of joint training with other mutual aid agencies such as local Korean fire departments in the area,” said Champaco.  The new facility will better prepare the firefighters for a wide arrays of trainings such as how to act in single and multi-story structural fires, vehicle and aircraft fires, confined space incidents as well as how to conduct high angle rescue and low angle rescue operations, hazardous material operations, and firefighter survival training.

“(Also) we have an aggressive mutual aid program and will continue to utilize this relationship to enhance our capabilities. We expect to see future training endeavors with Chinhae, Mutual Aid agencies, as well as other garrisons in Korean Peninsula,” said Champaco.

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