"Professional fire fighting team" in Xichang Mountain Fire:

"I still want to run into the mountains when I hear the fire"

On April 4th, the luggage of the 18 firefighters who died in the forest and grassland professional firefighting team in Ningnan County, Sichuan Province was returned to the barracks. China Youth Daily · China Youth Daily trainee reporter Yin Haiyue / photo

Twenty-one backpacks were quietly placed on the stool, and 18 of them could never wait for the owner to return.

On the evening of April 4, in the lobby on the second floor of the barracks of the professional forest fire protection team in Ningnan County, Sichuan Province, the duty team sat quietly at the round table and looked out the window. They just took the ashes of the sacrificed team members back from Xichang, and the barracks were empty and deserted.

In the early morning of March 31, in a forest fire in Jingjiu Township, Xichang City, 18 firefighters and a guide died in Ningnan County, and 3 other members were injured. A total of more than 3800 rescue workers participated in the fire fighting, including Xichang City, Ningnan County, Huili County, and other professional forest firefighting teams.

These teams rushed to the fire in the first place, but the degree of specialization was not enough. The fire fighting team is not their full-time job. Many people are "transformed" by the local militia, and they only work full-time during the fire prevention period each year. Because of different policies, the wages of the fire-fighting teams of various counties and cities are also very different, and the corresponding safeguards are lacking. The average age of the firefighting team is relatively large, and few young people are willing to join the firefighting team with little money, hard and dangerous.

Firefighters come from all walks of life

No. 47 Ping'an Road, Ningnan County Town is the "home" of the 18 sacrificed members of the Ningnan County Fire Fighting Team. Barracks posted pictures of 81 members of the team wearing camouflage uniforms. The rectangular small blackboard recorded the training lives of the players. They were divided into 8 classes, each with 10 people, and each group had 15 days of rotation.

At 19:30 on March 30, this professional firefighting team received an order from the County Forest and Grass Bureau. At 20:20, a total of 21 people in the first and fifth shifts were on duty, starting from Ningnan County to support Xichang. Lushan Fire Field.

41-year-old He Guiyin is the captain and trainer of this fire fighting team. He served in the former armed police forest force for more than 10 years and joined the professional fire fighting team in Ningnan County after retiring in 2016. "He has command experience and has led a platoon in the army." Tian Longbin, deputy director of the Ningnan County Forestry and Grassland Bureau.

Of the 18 people who died, only "He" (He Guiyin) had professional experience. Others were restaurant owners, some bricklayers at construction sites, and some electric welders. Most of the players were "transformed" from the local militia, and a small number of players have participated in the fire fighting in this county and other counties and cities. During the forest fire prevention period from January to June each year, the players concentrate on training, and the rest of the time seeks careers.

In 2010, Sichuan Province required all counties and cities to form professional forest and grassland fire fighting teams and fire emergency fighting teams corresponding to the number of people according to the national forest and grassland fire risk levels. In December 2019, the professional firefighting team for forest and grassland firefighting in Ningnan County was established. The equipment used by the team members was uniformly purchased by the government, including wind extinguishers and fire suits.

Although the establishment time is short, most of the sacrificed firefighters have fire experience. According to media reports, more than a month ago, they had just completed the fire fighting mission in Datong Town of their county, and they passed back in the evening and returned the next day. The same is the experienced "He team" led.

Tian Longbin also said that this team is not a "Caotai team". He mentioned that the dead bodies of the team members were lying on their stomachs, which shows that they were all professionally trained.

Team member Liu Yu (pseudonym) is from Heinigou Village, Ningyuan Township, Ningnan County. According to him, before joining this professional fire fighting team, the team members also had fire fighting experience in the militia company, holding a sickle and a sprayer to extinguish the mountain. , "Where we are burning (wherever we go)". After the establishment of the fire fighting team, the players received more professional training and also had professional fire fighting equipment.

Liu Yu said that the firefighters who died this time have been to Lushan, Panzhihua and other places to support the firefighting. The "He" team who led the team was usually responsible for training them. He has more than 10 years of experience in lighting, "very professional, but he himself has an accident."

On the afternoon of April 1, a member of the local professional fire fighting team rested against the big tree after continuous fighting. Wang Longhua / Photo

"Semi-professional" professional firefighting team

In Liangshan, Sichuan, there are many local professional fire fighting teams. Among the 17 counties and cities in Liangshan Prefecture, 12 are Class I fire risk counties and 5 are Class II fire risk counties. According to the regulations, professional fire fighting teams established in various counties and cities have unified board and lodging, implemented centralized and closed-type militarized management, and made preparations for combat. Once a fire occurs, they can be quickly dispatched.

Compared with the forest fire brigade, they are generally older, "those in their 30s are very young." Although they also wear orange fireproof clothing, they do not have professional water pumps and hoses. The fire extinguishing tools are mainly "old three": wind extinguisher, "No. 2 tool" (fire extinguishing mop) and "rake" (the above is a nail rake) , Below is the hoe).

A training schedule shows that the professional firefighting team in Ningnan County gets up at 7 o'clock every day, does 30 minutes of morning exercises, and trains for 3 hours each in the morning and afternoon. The training content includes the use of fire extinguishing equipment, equipment, and theoretical learning. Every 15 days Physical examination and cross-country training will also be arranged during the rotation cycle.

Fire fighting teams elsewhere have similar arrangements. "We mainly conduct physical training, as well as equipment training. We need to review the use of fire extinguishers, the" No. 2 tool "and how to hit the isolation belt with a hoe." Wang Wuying, the squadron leader of the professional fire fighting team in Taihe Town, Xichang City, admitted that The professionalism of the firefighting team is not enough. "We are actually a semi-professional firefighting team."

Salary guarantees vary widely, and young people are reluctant to participate

Since 2017, Xichang City has organized seven forest firefighting teams with a total of more than 280 people. They are stationed in Taihe Town and Anha Town, respectively, to carry out concentrated training. In addition to the Taihe Fire Team's maneuverability, the other fire fighting teams practice a system of firing with fire and no fire.

57-year-old Wang Wuying joined the Taihe Fire Fighting Team in 1999. Every year from November to June of the following year, this team must be fully staffed. According to the number of years to join the fire team, the salary of the players ranges from 2600-3200 yuan. At the end of the fire season at the end of June, the ordinary team members disbanded and returned home without salary. Only the squadron leader and squad leader remained on duty in the barracks, with a monthly salary of 1,400 yuan.

After 21 years of fighting, Wang Wuying lamented that the local firefighting team has gradually been valued in the past two years. In 2019, he can get 2800 yuan in the team, this year's salary rose to 3200 yuan. This year, Taihe Fire Fighting Team has added a dozen new members, and there are 17 or 18 young people under the age of 30.

But the situation is different in every county and city. Xiao Qiangjun, the squad leader of the Huili County Professional Fire Fighting Team who came to support the Xichang Mountain Fire, told reporters that their team members can only get 700 yuan a month, and this is based on an increase of 300 yuan last year. Standard, and the wages of the fire fighting team can not be settled until the end of the year.

"Our salary is relatively low in the state." Xiao Qiangjun said, the average age of the fire fighting team is over 40 years old, very few under 30 years old, and no new members have joined in the past two years. "No one is coming now, which is what we are most worried about."

Every year during the fire season, the firefighting team bears the responsibility of extinguishing the fire and patrolling the mountains. The team members often patrol the mountains on their motorcycles. Every year, the members of the team gave him feedback, hoping that the salary and benefits would be improved, or that they would get more protection, such as buying insurance and reimbursing fuel expenses. But most of these wishes have failed.

Although the income is not high, I heard that there is a mountain fire that needs to be saved and supported. These firefighters who do various camps will still actively participate. In the early hours of March 31, more than 40 people from Huili County Fire Fighting Team assisted Xichang. "This time I came to support Xichang, all came by one phone call." Xiao Qiangjun said.

"Captain of Fire Fighting" piled up by experience

After fighting fires for more than ten years, Xiao Qiangjun still loves the job. "I still want to run into the mountains when I hear the fire." Because they have more experience, they have more judgment on the risk of the fire.

On the afternoon of April 1, the reporter followed the Huili County Fire Fighting Team to the fire site. They were ready to put out the remaining open flames on the southern line of the fire site. At that time, the line of fire had spread into a ravine and spread to two hills with the help of wind. At this time, it was close to 6 p.m., the wind on the top of the mountain was strong, and Xiao Qiangjun smelled that the smell of grass and ash in the air was getting stronger and stronger. .

"Cultivating a strong fire captain is very important for safe and effective fire suppression." Wang Zhenshi, senior engineer of Guangdong Forest Fire Prevention Research Center, said that on the front line of the fire, the fire commander commanded by the scene must fully understand the fire environment and team combat effectiveness. It is also necessary to judge how the command is safer on the spot based on factors such as wind, wind direction, time, etc., and these require years of experience.

When fighting a mountain fire, Taihe Fire Fighting Team will extinguish fires in units of 10 people according to the size of the fire. The fire-fighting team of more than 70 people has 5 walkie-talkies for several squadron leaders to communicate with each other. When extinguishing the fire, there will be a commander-in-chief outside the fire site to direct the fire fighting directions of each squadron through a walkie-talkie, and the squadron leader will direct specific actions in the fire site.

Topography and wind direction are the main basis for fire command. "Uphill fires must be fired from the end of the fire to the top of the mountain, and downhill fires should be fired according to the terrain." Wang Wuying said that they will send people to observe the wind direction and terrain in the fire field, and try to break through from the weaker fire. Because Xichang generally has weak winds and stable winds from early morning to noon, they all set off for fire at three or four in the morning.

After the Xichang Mountain Fire Fighting was over, these local fire fighting teams returned to their station one after another. Seeing that the members of the Ningnan Fire Fighting Team came back one after another, Tian Longbin made his own suggestions for the future fire fighting: "First, choose the captain and complete the team; second, strengthen training and strengthen management."

But he also admitted that he is not the ultimate decision maker. "After I put forward my ideas, I still rely on the township government to do this."

Wang Longhua China Youth Daily · China Youth Network reporter Wang Lin trainee reporter Yin Haiyue Zhao Limei Source: China Youth Daily