According to a report from Los Angeles Daily News, the Los Angeles City (LACFD) and Long Beach (LBFD), California, Fire Departments and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) commandeered a vessel in the Port of Los Angeles for maritime emergency preparedness drills, which began on Tuesday and will conclude today. The exercises are being conducted to help demonstrate to firefighters the skillset needed for shipboard firefighting.
The simulation was conducted on board the SS Cape Isabel, a Maritime Administration ship, which is used for vehicle and cargo transport assigned to the MARAD Ready Reserve Force, a subset of vessels meant for fast worldwide deployment.
The training was made possible by a $240,000 grant from the USCG and allowed the fire departments three days aboard the SS Cape Isabel to practice eight scenarios. Other firefighting teams will participate over three-day training session, which ends on Thursday.
The LBFD took part in the exercises because the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are adjacent to each other.
On Tuesday, 15 members from both fire departments trained in scenarios ranging from a total ship blackout, requiring firefighters to navigate to the engine room in zero visibility, with smoke machines and simulated fire screens. Teams of 30 firefighters, split equally between the departments trained aboard the ship Wednesday and Thursday.