Sailors, assigned to Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), and members of the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) conducted an integrated damage control training exercise aboard the ship as part of ongoing events for San Francisco Fleet Week (SFFW), Oct. 4, 2022.
The fire fighters received a tour of the ship, an equipment demonstration, and compared and discussed the different methods and tactics each counterpart utilized whilst firefighting.
“As an Assistant Chief with the San Francisco Fire Department, I feel a lot more prepared and confident,” said Assistant Chief Nicol Juratovac, a 25-year veteran of the San Francisco Fire Department. “This is a great, great way of not only building relationships but also gathering takeaways and seeing the equipment that the U.S. Navy uses.”
The firefighters were introduced to specific tools such as the hydraulic rescue tool, the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), navy personal protective equipment (PPE), the aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) and halon gas systems, and other various firefighting equipment onboard the Princeton.
“We have a lot in common but at the same time we don’t have a lot of stuff in common,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Oscar Garcia, from Santa Ana, Calif. “They don’t know too much about the halon and AFFF systems, but were more familiar with the CO2 systems and the personal protective equipment we use.”
Sailors also learned about how civilian firefighters fought fires compared to shipboard firefighting.
“It’s a little but different than the training Sailors get because with them, it’s just familiarization,” said Garcia, “So if anything does happen, they can help us out. It’s not like training somebody else in the Navy.”
The firefighters dissected this ship to the equivalent of a horizontal high-rise fire, Juratovac mentioned, and when firefighters break it down to be that compartmentalization mindset, it becomes a lot more manageable to fight a fire in the event of one.
“Integration is critical because we have a saying in the fire service; ‘failing to plan is planning to fail,’” said Juratovac, “We have the answers to the test right here in a controlled environment and the answers to the test is, just like a building fire, is a pre-planning portion of it where we actually walk through the building, see the equipment, see the layout and get our lay-of-the-land so that we can be more prepared when we show up.”
When firefighters and Sailors get to an actual fire, that isn’t the place to train, Juratovac stated, they need to be ready and know how to attack the fire before it happens.
SFFW is an opportunity for the American public to meet their Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard teams and experience America’s sea services. During fleet week, service members participate in various community service events, showcase capabilities and equipment to the community, and enjoy the hospitality of the city and its surrounding areas.
For more information, please visit the San Francisco Fleet Week web site at