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90 CES Fire Department partners with local agencies for Missile Silo Rescue Training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cody Dowell
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

The 90th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Prevention Flight hosted Missile Silo Rescue Training for seven mutual aid fire departments, Dec. 11, 2021, at the base’s U-01 Launch Facility Trainer.

In the event of an injury requiring personnel to be rescued from within a missile silo, fire department members of the 90 CES are trained for this procedure. Between the installation itself and 15 Missile Alert Facilities in the missile field, each with several training and launch facilities, requires members to report to a wide vicinity that may require additional aid to respond.

“We are prepared to respond to any emergency that might happen on base. Additionally, we have more specialized training when it comes to ICBM and nukes,” said Staff Sgt. Tom Werre, 90 CES lead firefighter.  “We also work with off-base agencies to prepare them in case there is an emergency that involves our assets.”

During the training’s welcoming remarks by Joshua Sarters, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron assistant fire chief, he explained the importance of having these mutual aid departments coming to the base. Sarters went on to elaborate that after certain distances, installation firefighters would utilize a helicopter to travel to the MAF, but that mode of travel restricts how many personnel and equipment they can bring. This emphasized why it helps to have the option of assistance from local fire departments with prior rescue knowledge.

“This is giving them training on what we do, so if they do show up, they can hop in anywhere we need them,” said Werre. “It also helps to build a better relationship with our mutual aid partners and I do enjoy working with the outside agencies that we see on calls.”

Agencies that participated in this training included departments from the 90th Missile Wing’s area of responsibility, reaching to Colorado and Nebraska. The different fire departments included Bushnell (Nebraska) Fire, La Grange (Wyoming) Fire Departments, Pawnee Fire District (Colorado), Cheyenne Fire Rescue, and Laramie County Fire District 1,2, and 5.

“I think it's a great opportunity to come onto the base,” said Bown LaVerne, Sidney, Nebraska, Volunteer Fire Department chief. “I definitely learned what's going on their side and I feel that we're more prepared on our side if it ever comes to having to work together. I now know what the outside and inside [of a missile silo] looks like. Before all we saw was pretty much a chain-link fence and a big old cement lid so this is a little more enlightening when you can see a mockup of a silo for yourself.”