Navy Petty Officer Instructs International Troops On How To Save Lives
By Elizabeth Dwyer
With the help of the U.S. Navy, foreign military students are learning to put out the flames in San Diego. Sevy R. Romain, the 23-year-old son of Yves Romain of Canarsie, provides firefighting training to sailors from all over the world at the Fleet Training Center (FTC) in San Diego. "I teach shipboard firefighting and train sailors to save the ship and lives," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Romain, who is a damage control specialist.
Romain and other qualified instructors teach firefighting skills and techniques at FTC to both U.S. and allied Sailors. Allied navies from Europe, Asia, Central America and Australia send their Sailors for shipboard firefighter training, while interpreters work to ensure language barriers don’t hinder instruction. It is Romain’s job to improve the readiness of all students, foreign and domestic.
"Do the job correctly. It could be a friend that you train that saves your life," said Romain, a 1997 graduate of Canarsie High School.
Students combat blazes soaring over 16 feet and exceeding temperatures of 200 degrees. Fighting heat and flames are only part of the battle. Fear can be a major factor, so instructors stand beside students to encourage them during training. The training provides the students with a sense of accomplishment, teamwork and increased confidence after conquering the flames and overwhelming temperatures.
Knowing the importance of preparedness is half the battle. Foreign navies don’t always have the man-power, technology or facilities to do training in their own country. They depend on U.S. Navy schools for instruction to keep them up to date on the latest in-formation and technology.
FTC San Diego has a three-story shipboard structure and a flight deck simulator where training extends beyond the reality of the building fire. Every type of fire including combustible metals, electrical, solid sub-stances and flammable liquids are possible onboard a ship. Instructors are dedicated to ensuring the safety of each student while teaching them that working as a team is essential to put the fires out. Sailors, both U.S. and allied, understand the benefits of the hands on training they receive from this facility.
"The most rewarding part of the job is the feeling of training and doing a good job, and knowing that your training can and might save a life," said Ro-main, a four-year veteran.
Improving proficiency is critical to students as well as instructors. Sailors like Romain help to make instruction as realistic and beneficial as possible for students. The success of these programs helps to contribute to the preservation of life, and success of the mission all over the world.