WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you noticed more activity than usual on the downtown Wilmington waterfront today, it was from a Coast Guard and Fire Department drill. It was one test that Douglas Goodwin, the new commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence, thinks is very important.
“It’s a critical drill,” Cmdr. Goodwin said “Fighting a fire on a ship is significantly different than fighting a fire in a building. One, you are on the water, so if you if the ship fills up with water you have a risk of sinking the ship at the pier, then you have confined spaces, narrow passage ways, so to allow the fire department to come here and see what the ship is like.”
The drill was challenging by bringing more personnel on an already tight ship and sharing technology: The Diligence crew, familiar with the ship and her systems; Wilmington Fire Department with the latest firefighting technology.
Both groups worked well together and learned to communicate to get the job done.
Wilmington Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Dudley thinks the drill went well.
“Organization is good,” Dudley said. “We have some things, we have a critique over dinner, we have some communications issues we have to address to make sure we stay in communications with every one.”
The fire drill was considered a success with both crews learning from the other, but they do plan to meet again. The Coast Guard-Wilmington Fire Department drill takes place once a year.