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MacDill hosts total force decon exercise

A 6th Civil Engineering Squadron fire fighter scrubs an Airmen in a Level A hazardous material suit during a joint responder training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., June 24, 2015. The HAZMAT decontamination line ensures that all personnel leaving the hazardous material “hot zone” are properly cleaned of any and all contaminants. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ned T. Johnston/Released)

A 6th Civil Engineering Squadron fire fighter scrubs an Airmen in a Level A hazardous material suit during a joint responder training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., June 24, 2015. The HAZMAT decontamination line ensures that all personnel leaving the hazardous material “hot zone” are properly cleaned of any and all contaminants. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ned T. Johnston/Released)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- It's rush hour, and a 10,000-gallon fuel truck rolls over and spills highly flammable liquid over the roadway. Moments later, firefighters at the MacDill Air Force Base fire station jump into their boots and strap on their suspenders to the beat of the piercing siren.

On scene, the firefighters meet bio-environmental and emergency managers to mitigate this hazardous material accident.

Fortunately, this is only a training exercise to prepare for real-world risks.

The 6th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters hosted a joint responder hazardous material decontamination training exercise with 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bioenvironmental engineers and 927th Mission Support Group Emergency Management technicians at the MacDill crash fire station June 24.

"Whenever we work together we have great communication and are able to complete the mission seamlessly," said Tech Sgt. Matthew Woods, 6th CES fire protection chief. "Working with the reservists sometimes allow us to have a different perspective, many of the firefighters and emergency management Airmen do the same job as civilians and bring different ideas and skills to the table."

Total Force Integration is a system that allows the different components of the U.S. Air Force to operate cohesively and seamlessly as one team. Training together allows each component an opportunity to work with one another making for better communication and consistent mission completion.

"TFI allows people who don't normally work together to incorporate their different skills and create a working relationship with reservists that we may work with in the future, to more effectively complete the mission," said Woods. "Time is sometimes life or death; we don't have time on site to learn how to communicate. Training like this prepares us in ways that are invaluable."

"This was a great experience," said Senior Airman Jason Priela, 927th Mission Support Group, emergency management technician. "As a reservist, we enjoy working with the active duty component. It allows us an opportunity to stay more proficient and learn new methods for doing our jobs."

For more information about the 927th Air Refueling Wing follow us on Facebook and visit: http://www.927arw.afrc.af.mil/.