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Yokota becomes Pacific training hub for firefighters

by Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason Segedy
Det. 10, Air Force News Agency

5/7/2007 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNEWS) -- Firefighters from the 374th Airlift Wing here will soon be able to receive job specific training without even leaving the base. 

A representative from Texas Engineering Extension Institute visited Yokota Air Base firefighters to explain how a new program will allow Airmen to participate in and receive the same kind of training normally found only in the states. 

"I do train-the-trainer," said Frank Diaz, a Department of Defense TEEX program coordinator. "We partner with progressed fire departments and use the talent of their experts and they use our materials, so it's a partnership we have with them." 

The program is going to save the Air Force a lot of money in training costs as well. It costs roughly $3,000 to $4,000 to send one Airman to the United States for training for a couple of weeks. Training firefighters here by previously trained members will give the 374th Civil Engineer Flight the ability to train 10 firefighters for about the same price. It will also save time because students won't have to travel away from their assigned duty station. 

"This is outstanding," said Tech. Sgt. Armando Eversley Jr., the assistant chief of training for the Fire Emergency Services Flight. "Of course another certification is a good thing to have and it would improve the knowledge they get on the job and allow them to learn the more technical aspects." 

"They're able to do the same type of training and the same quality of training out here," Mr. Diaz said. "We do the certification part of it also, which has to be separate from the instructor." 

"It allows us to teach more firefighters for less money," Sergeant Eversley said. "The certifications are difficult to obtain. (With this training) we can put more numbers through to attain those certifications." 

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