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Kirtland AFB Fire Department selected as AFGSC Large FD of the year

Firefighters from Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, respond to a fire in Albuquerque.

Firefighters with the 377th Civil Engineer Squadron responded to a fire at Friedman Recycling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sept. 29, 2020. Kirtland Air Force Base firefighters supported the Albuquerque Fire Department as part of a mutual aid agreement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Austin J. Prisbrey)

Firefighters from Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, respond to a fire in Albuquerque.

Firefighters with the 377th Civil Engineer Squadron responded to a fire at Friedman Recycling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sept. 29, 2020. Kirtland Air Force Base firefighters supported the Albuquerque Fire Department as part of a mutual aid agreement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Austin J. Prisbrey)

Firefighters from Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, respond to a fire in Albuquerque.

Firefighters with the 377th Civil Engineer Squadron responded to a fire at Friedman Recycling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sept. 29, 2020. Kirtland Air Force Base firefighters supported the Albuquerque Fire Department as part of a mutual aid agreement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Austin J. Prisbrey)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

For the third time in four years, the 377th Air Base Wing’s Fire Emergency Services Branch at Kirtland AFB has been selected as Air Force Global Strike Command’s Large Fire Department of the Year. The department will now compete against all other major command recipients in the large department category. If selected there, it will then compete at the Department of Defense level.

Among the Kirtland AFB Fire Department’s achievements during the year:

  • Protected the Air Force’s sixth-largest base (52,000 acres), with a population of 23,000 and 25 major mission partners, 1,800 facilities, 1,000 houses and 34 ranges
  • Responded to 1,300 emergency calls with less than 1% loss to an $11 billion replacement plant (facilities) value
  • Supported the Albuquerque International Sunport, providing critical life-safety coverage for 195 aircraft, 224 daily flights, 3 million passengers and 60 tons of cargo, mitigating 58 incidents with no fire loss
  • First on scene at 263 incidents; saved three lives by providing critical treatment
  • Responded to multiple Covid-19 incidents; all patients protected/treated/transported, with no exposures
  • Battled 100-acre “Q Fire;” rapid action resulted in 95% containment within five hours and saved $225 million in replacement value; extinguishment efforts prevented fire advancement to local community of 1,000 homes
  • In mutual-aid response at plastic bale recycle center fire where local fire department lacked appropriate resources to extinguish the blaze, engaged fire for seven hours, applying 1,200 gallons of foam; saved the business
  • Aided Albuquerque Fire Rescue in transformer fire; Albuquerque Sunport was evacuated and suspended operations with no injuries

Kirtland AFB Installation Fire Chief Jaime Jimenez put the AFGSC award in perspective.

“I like to think we were selected because we have incredible firefighters who are dedicated to our unique mission. Being a retired chief master sergeant, and having worked in fire protection all over the world for the past 44 years, Kirtland Fire & Emergency Services is the best department I have ever been associated with. COVID-19 has been a tremendous challenge for us, as it has been for everyone, and the firefighters assigned here have made all the difference in the success of our mission.”