RCAF firefighter deploys on Iceland mission

News Article / June 20, 2017

From the Royal Canadian Air Force

Corporal Devril Barnes is a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) firefighter from 8 Wing Trenton who served with Air Task Force-Iceland recently.

From May 18 to June 16, 2017, Air Task Force-Iceland contributed to the NATO – Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland's Peacetime Preparedness Needs mission. Under this mission, RCAF CF-18 Hornets patrolled Iceland’s airspace, which is conducted as part of Operation Reassurance

Corporal Barnes is originally from Toronto, Ontario, and joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2009.  He has been a member of the RCAF since 2013 when he transferred from the Royal Canadian Navy where he served as a weapons engineering technician for four years. 

“This is my first overseas deployment, but I want to deploy more,” said Corporal Barnes. “Being a firefighter is very satisfying because you learn so much in terms of your skills and qualifications and you constantly have to train to keep them up.”

As part of a comprehensive safety plan for the Air Task Force, he and two other RCAF firefighters were responsible for assisting local airfield firefighting services in the event of any CF-18 fighter-related emergency.

The RCAF firefighters provided expertise on the aircraft’s emergency procedures to protect the life of the pilots and minimize damage to the aircraft. The team engaged in readiness exercises with local firefighters to improve their cooperation and effectiveness. 

Supporting CF-18 operations overseas and providing fire-safety services at home has one commonality:  “Being in a firehall— you need to be on your toes, ready to go whenever you’re on shift,” said Corporal Barnes, “But I love it.”

All firefighters in the Canadian Armed Forces are members of the RCAF, although they may work to support Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

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