BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Airmen assigned to the 140th Wing Fire Department were re-routed during routine structure burn training at the Sable Altura Fire Department and dispatched to a real-world structure fire in Bennett, Colorado, March 2, 2018.
Dan Gordon, Buckley Fire and Emergency Services station chief, 460th Space Wing, reported that 18 Colorado Air National Guardsmen, the 460th Fire Department and 10 other agencies responded to a house fire in a dry part of the state.
Red Flag warnings were in effect in the Bennett area and, although there was no threat to life at the time of the response, there was potential for the fire to rapidly spread due to the hot temperatures, dry conditions and heavy winds, explained Tech. Sgt. Andrew Gard, deputy fire chief of the 140th Civil Engineering Squadron.
“We were trying to prevent fire from spreading to other structures close by and keep it from turning into a wildland fire event,” said Gard. “Because of the red flag warnings in that area, they needed manpower for this particular event and manpower is what we were able to bring.”
According to dispatch, the 140th FD was on scene at 10:38 a.m. to help extinguish the fire on the exterior of the building and relieve other firefighters, who had been fighting the fire for several hours before the Guardsmen arrived on scene.
“Prior to our arrival, crews had been working tirelessly to extinguish the fire,” said Gard. “The incident commander requested additional manpower to assist in defensive firefighting operations and to provide much needed relief to the initial responders.”
Fire crews attached to the 140th Wing and the 460th Space Wing helped contain the fire and were released at 1:00 p.m. the same day, according to Gordon.
Thanks to an interagency agreement among the fire departments, the 140th and the 460th were able to respond quickly and help the other agencies on scene. Damage was minimized and a large-scale grass fire was prevented due to the teamwork and collective effort of the partnering departments.
Gordon said one important piece to a successful mission is different agencies willing to come together for a common cause.
“We were fortunate that we had the right resources and were at the right place at the right time,” said Gard. “We are always happy to help. It’s in our nature; it’s what we do.”