Airport service workers wear many hats; one hat is a fire helmet

COURTESY: ANNICK JOSEPH (KIEM)

ARCATA, Calif. (KIEM)-If you’ve visited the California Redwood Coast – Humboldt County Airport this week, you may have noticed airport workers training for what appeared to be a real fire scenario.  

Airport service worker Bret Allen participated in this year’s mandatory annual live fire training, which is normally held off site.  

“This year we did it here with our own equipment,” he said. “It’s a lot better to use our own equipment, just to get familiar and we get to work as a big group instead just a couple people when we go out of town to do the training.  

“The more you do, and the more you do it with your own stuff you get used to where everything is at, this year we did it here and it was awesome.” 

The airport is required by the Federal Aviation regulations to have firefighters on site for each in-bound and out-bound aircraft, that united airlines brings in and out of A-C-V.  

Director of Aviation Cody Roggatz says, having trained staff on hand is critical for the safety of passengers and employees, if an emergency such as a fire were to occur at the airport.  

Getting the fire put out and passengers extracted from the plane requires skill and speed, according to Roggatz. 

“We meet the requirements the FAA puts out as far as training,” he said. “So, there’s an initial training requirement and then they have annual recurring training that’s required of them, and this live fire is part of that annual reassurance.” 

Roggats says, service workers have many duties and responsibilities.  

“So, in addition to the firefighting, as Bret mentioned to ya, they do operations which is compliance with all the other federal regulation out here at ACV, security requirements, maintenance and fueling,” he said.  “So, they wear a lot of hats but they are always here to cover that fire responsibility for those in-bound and out-bound airlines.”