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More Extensive Drills Follow USS Miami Fire

By David Sharp, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - Firefighters at Maine's Portsmouth Naval Shipyard train regularly for industrial blazes, but mandates after a huge submarine fire call for an annual drill that's more extensive than anything done before.

The investigation that followed the USS Miami blaze in May 2012 found that federal firefighters didn't train for complex and lengthy fires requiring assistance from community firefighters.

That's no longer the case at Navy shipyards.

The Navy says Portsmouth Naval Shipyard firefighters proved their capabilities during a January drill that tested the ability of sailors, federal firefighters and neighboring responders. There now will be one of those drills each year, in addition to other training.

Navy spokesman Lt. Tim Hawkins said the outcome of the January drill wasn't a huge surprise, since same firefighters dealt with the real thing on the USS Miami.