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Military Firefighter Academy in San Angelo, TX
Imagine sitting in a 750 degree burning building in 65 pounds of gear. This was just another day at the office when I was a military firefighter instructor.
How do you become an Army firefighter?
You enlist in the Army as a 12M and complete one of the toughest military schools in the nation.
The Department of Defense Fire Academy is located in the small, dry and dusty town of San Angelo, Texas. It is the training site for young men and women who want to become military firefighters.
Follow me as a give you a tour of one of the best Fire Academies in the United States. I guarantee the firefighter pictures will melt you in your seat
What To Expect As A Military Firefighter - Army Firefighters
Protecting Those That Serve
What does an Army Firefighter do? I was very lucky to have a very interesting and diverse Army Firefighter career, some Soldiers are not so lucky. We are still a nation at war. We have thousands of Soldiers deployed overseas so it is not uncommon for a firefighter to be tasked to an ordinance unit or work outside the career field.
My first duty assignment was Fort Rucker, Alabama. I worked as a crash rescue specialist on a flight line. Fort Rucker is the aviation capital of the Army. It is where most pilots learn to fly rotary wing aircraft. Every flight line has a small fire fighter crew. It usually consists of a four person crew sitting in a tiny little shack. I have been told that military firefighters no longer work in the main station but they did when I was stationed there. I worked at the main fire station as a structural firefighter for just over a year. We responded to fires in housing, car crashes and mutual aid calls in the surrounding area. My favorite job at Fort Rucker was a crew member on a Med-Evacuation Crew.
Fort Rucker is the only place in the Army where firefighters can firefight from the back of a Huey! I know it sounds crazy! It was an amazing assignment.
Flat Iron is a small Medical Evacuation Crew. Firefighters on the crew are responsible for aircraft that go down in the woods and cannot be reached by fire trucks. I can't explain the rush of donning bunker gear while you're flying in the sky.
Firefighter, Paramedic, Hero
The True Life of a Firefighter
The Home To All Military Firefighters
Training To Become A Military Firefighter
The Louis F. Garland fire academy is the only fire academy for the Department of Defense.
It is located on Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, TX.
I attended the Fire school as a young private in the Army in 1998.I had the privilege of returning to the fire school as an instructor in September 2007.
The Fire School consists of both military and civilian instructors responsible for training men and women in every branch of service.
San Angelo Summer
The Average Summer Temperature in San Angelo, TX is 100 degrees.
Can you handle the heat of the DOD Fire Academy
What Does It Take To Become A Military Firefighter - Six Blocks of Military Firefighter Training
The fire school consist of six grueling blocks of training
- Fire Prevention and Fire Awareness
- First Responder/CPR/Childbirthing
- Firefighter I structural firefighting
- Firefighter II structural firefighting
- Hazmat Awareness
- Airport Firefighting
Firefighter History - Military Crash Rescue School
This is a book every firefighter should have on their coffee table. It covers firefighter history from the beginning to late nineties. It even has a chapter on military firefighters as well as a few pictures of some very good friends of mine.
Inside the Inferno at the Louis F Garland Fire Academy - DOD Fire School
Instructors monitor students during live fire training in blocks IV and VI of firefighter training.
Firefighter Coins - Firefighter Challenge Coins
Challenge coins are a tradition in both firefighting and the military.
They are passed down from seniors to rookies, commanders to first sergeants, Noncommissioned officers to Soldiers and sometimes they are given from friend to friend.
Each coin carries a story and is passed on in a hand shake. Some coins are proudly carried in the pockets of fatigues others sit proudly displayed on a desk. They represent a time and a place that should not be forgotten.
Challenge coins are often given at award ceremonies for exemplary achievement but many have also been given in the back alley of a local bar.
They represent a brotherhood, an understanding that firefighting is much more than a job. It is a calling.
The Louis F.Garland Burn House
Firefighter Instructor for the Department of Defense Fire Academy
Many Things go through your head as an instructor while you're waiting on students to enter the burn house.
“What is taking them so long?”
“I hope my gear is on properly”
“Did I turn my coffee pot off this morning?”
“Geez it's really getting hot in here”
“Oh No! I really have to use the bathroom”
“Oh man, my face shield is melting already!”
Military Firefighter History
The Goodfellow Fire Academy was featured on an episode of mail call!
Department of Defense Fire Academy Graduation - Video of Military Firefighter Graduation
The students that survive the 68 training days of the Department of Defense Fire Academy proudly join the ranks of firefighters serving in the military all over the world.
- Fire Trucks At War
US Army Engineer Fire Fighting Platoons and Fire Trucks of World War II
- Fire Trucks At War on Facebook
Share photos of Army , Navy, Marine Corp and Air Force Fire Trucks.
- History of the Army Firefighter Vehicle the TFFT
Read the history of the Army's Tactical Firefighting Truck from the the 406th Engineer Fire Fighting Detachment, 89th Regional Readiness Command
- The Air Force P-34 Rapid Intervention Vehicle
The Air Force's new firefighting truck replacing The P-19 Crash Truck
Firefighter Trivia: What is in water that puts out fire? Answer
Train As If A Life Depends On It Because It Does - Firefighters Prayer
The Firefighter's Prayer
When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage;
Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.
And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life;
Please bless with your protecting hand
My family one and all.
Thank You Department of Defense Firefighters
Thank you to the DOD firefighters that have come before us, those serving today and those yet to follow!
FireDawgs lead the way to hell and back!
Photos are of me Gina Birdsong
Photos and Video are courtesy of
Retired Army, firefighter and DOD Civilian
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