Two Nations, One Fire Service

Canadian and American soldiers operate a firehose as other soldiers watch.
Photo has been digitally altered for operational security. Camp Canada, Kuwait. April 12, 2018 – Canadian Firefighters participate in a weekly exercise with US Air Force Firefighters during Operation IMPACT. (Photo: Op IMPACT, DND)

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By a Camp Canada Firefighter deployed on Operation IMPACT

Safety is always key during Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations, especially when troops are deployed in austere conditions. That includes the CAF members deployed on Operation IMPACT who live in Camp Canada in Kuwait. From a firefighting perspective, some of the challenges they face include living in tents, adjusting to local electrical requirements, and simply dealing with extreme heat.

On March 13, 2018, the United States Air Force (USAF) Firefighting Station #5 opened at Camp Canada. This change has improved local emergency response immensely. Now, the Camp Canada fire brigade—made of CAF members from a variety of trade backgrounds—can count on the immediate support of the USAF fire service. Together, they provide the best possible emergency response and minimize risk to personnel and property.

“During any operation, the safety of all members is of the utmost importance. Being able to provide a fire protection system in theatre using two highly trained fire services from the National Defense Fire Department and the United States Air Force Fire Department ensures the safety of everyone on camp and that the infrastructure is protected at all times,” said the Task Force Fire Marshall.

Both parts of the team, Canadians and Americans, train together each week. They are building team cohesion and improving their emergency response coordination. To do so, they develop skills in areas such as response procedures, structural firefighting, and camp familiarization.

“Working with our Canadian partners has been an exciting and rewarding experience,” said the USAF B-Shift Supervisor. “We are both learning important lessons to maximize fire safety and support emergency response on Camp Canada as well as The Rock.”

Two nations working together with the common goal of protecting their members demonstrates the commitment and devotion necessary for a successful coalition. Future training and collaboration as a single unit can only benefit this newly developed organization. More importantly, this partnership is sure to improve the safety of Camp Canada residents in Kuwait.

Image gallery

  • Canadian soldiers pose for a photo with American soldiers and a framed flag from both countries.
  • Canadian and American soldiers operate a firehose as other soldiers watch.
  • Canadian and American soldiers operate a firehose.
  • Canadian soldiers lift firefighting equipment onto a truck.
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