16 Jun 2011

American Samoa firefighters get refresher course on wildfires in US

7:51 am on 16 June 2011

A team from the Hawaii Forestry and the National Park Service have conducted a refresher training course for local American Samoa firefighters who are on call to fight wildfires in mainland United States.

There's a possibility local firemen will be called up to help put out forest fires in Arizona.

A Pacific Island Fire Management officer Joe Molhoek says 29 firefighters took part in the refresher course.

"The first-day is a physical fitness test that they must pass every year. It involves wearing 45 pounds on your back and walking three miles in under 45 minutes. Of course these guys don't have any trouble with it but they have to do it every year to show that they're physically fit to fight fire."

A Pacific Island Fire Management officer, Joe Molhoek.

Many of the firefighters are employees of the National Park while some were recruited from villages whose lands are leased for the national park.