Article View
News | July 22, 2021

Senegalese National Fire Brigade visits Vt. for emergency capability demos

By Joshua Cohen Vermont National Guard Public Affairs

From July 11-21, delegates from Senegal’s National Fire Brigade (Brigade Nationale des Sapeurs-Pompiers) visited Vermont as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.

According to Col. Randall Gates, VTNG director of military support, “The overall objective of the visit was for Brig. Gen. Seck and his subordinates to gain a good understanding of emergency preparedness and response across all state agencies, so we set up visits with Urban Search and Rescue, Vermont Emergency Management, and the Vermont Fire Academy, we also had a visit to the Pittsford Fire Department.” Gates was responsible for the Senegal delegation’s logistics and organizing agency demonstrations.

Throughout their stay, the Vermont National Guard, firefighting departments and rescue organizations provided the Brigade members with capability and equipment demonstrations as well as fire-fighting related briefings. These included military range firefighting briefings followed by a static display of fire-fighting vehicles and specialty tools.

Gates said a July 15 visit to the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford was the visit’s highlight. “The Academy pulled out all the stops for us, we were given live flame demonstrations, shown how to put out dumpster and car fires, they showed us the burn house and laid out all their equipment for the delegation to examine.”

“If you’re a firefighter in Senegal at some level you report to Brig. Gen. Seck,” said Gates. “They want more specialization within the Fire Brigade, they want to get into search and rescue, explosive ordinance disposal and HAZMAT.” Gates explained that much of the new capabilities the Senegal Fire Brigade seeks to establish can be learned with the assistance of Vermont State agencies and the VTNG.

Later, demonstrations of rescue techniques using trained canines, drones and sonic detection equipment were provided by the State of Vermont’s Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR VT-TF1) at Camp Johnson, Vermont National Guard Joint Force Headquarters.

Brig. Gen. Mor Seck, the delegation’s senior member and commander of the Senegal National Fire Brigade found a static display of the team’s water-borne assets of particular interest, stating he would like to build up his organization’s sea rescue capabilities. Col. Ibrahima Diatta and Adjuvant Abdou Karime Ndiaye accompanied Seck for this training.

Next, members of the Vermont National Guard’s 15th Civil Support Team provided a chemical biological incident response exercise. In protective suits, Guardsmen demonstrated methods for searching for a simulated weapon of mass destruction. Afterward, CST specialty detection and response equipment functionality was explained to the Fire Brigade members.

“There are a number of branch-outs currently under Brig. Gen. Seck’s responsibility and in every one of those areas that he wants to gain more knowledge,” Gates said. “That specialization resides in Vermont, I think we are going to be scheduling a lot of visits going forward as Brig. Gen. Seck gave out a lot of invitations, it starts informally.”

Gates explained the Senegalese Fire Brigade has a long-standing tradition of officer and non-commissioned officer exchanges. “This was the latest iteration of these exchanges and the first time Brig. Gen. Seck, visited Vermont.” The VTNG State Partnership Program with Senegal began in 2008.

Vermont National Guard News
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. John Hampson, an instructor at the U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School, gives a block of instruction on mountain casualty evacuation to French service members with the 5th Overseas Interarms Regiment (5e RIAOM) at the French Combat Training Center at Arta Beach, Djibouti, Dec. 14, 2021. Five instructors from the U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School in Jericho, Vt. taught a five-day Joint Expeditionary Mountain Warfare Course on basic military mountaineering skills to French service members in Djibouti to strengthen the relationships among the international forces working together in the region. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Stock)
Vermont Guardsman rescues three from a frozen lake on Christmas day
By Joshua Cohen | Jan. 11, 2022
Immediate action by Vermont National Guard Staff Sgt. John Hampson on Christmas Day, 2021, “very likely saved the lives of three people,” according to U.S. Navy Reserve Cmdr. Jordan Gottfried...

Spc. Vaclav Cervenka, a carpentry and masonry specialist with Det. 1, Headquarters Company, Garrison Support Command, Vermont Army National Guard, practices firing a Biathlon rifle during practice at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site in Jericho, Vermont, on Nov. 2, 2021. Cervenka is on Team USA's 2021-2022 X Team. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Don Branum)
Vermont National Guard Soldiers make 2022 Olympic Biathlon Team
By | Jan. 11, 2022
Three Vermont National Guard biathletes will compete in the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing as part of the U.S. Biathlon Team with an additional member named as the men’s alternate...

The Vermont National Guard has a new psychological health coordinator. In October 2021 Jordan Imhoff was hired for the position. Imhoff previously served as the Vermont National Guard alcohol and drug control officer in the Behavioral Services Office. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Joshua Cohen)
Meet Jordan Imhoff: Vermont Guard’s new psychological health coordinator
By Joshua Cohen | Jan. 6, 2022
The Vermont National Guard has a new psychological health coordinator. In October 2021 Jordan Imhoff was hired for the position. Imhoff previously served as the Vermont National Guard Alcohol and Drug Control Officer in the...

Command Sgt. Maj. Melinda Crosby, incoming command sergeant major for the 186th Brigade Support Batallion, 86th Infantry Combat Team (Mountain), speaks with her son, Marcus, prior to the change of responsibility ceremony in Northfield, Vermont, Dec. 4, 2021. Crosby succeeds Command Sgt. Maj. Allen King, who is retiring after 38 years of service. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Don Branum)
Newest 186th command sergeant major seeks to grow Soldiers’ potential
By Don Branum | Dec. 23, 2021
The newest command sergeant major for the 186th Brigade Support Battalion, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), might not have served beyond her first enlistment if not for a couple of non-commissioned officers who...

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Elijah Amendola, 1-102nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain), Task Force Iron Gray, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), assists a French service member with the 5th Overseas Interarms Regiment (5e RIAOM) on fixed rope techniques at the Arta Range Complex, Djibouti, Dec. 15, 2021. Five instructors from the U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School in Jericho, Vermont, taught a five-day Joint Expeditionary Mountain Warfare Course on basic military mountaineering skills to French service members in Djibouti to strengthen the relationships among the international forces working together in the region.



(U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Stock)
Vermont Army Guard hosts mountain warfare course in Djibouti
By Staff Sgt. Amanda Stock, | Dec. 21, 2021
Five U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School instructors with the Vermont Army National Guard traveled to Djibouti to teach a five-day Joint Expeditionary Mountain Warfare Course to service members from France’s 5th Overseas...