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673d CEG Fire Emergency Services wins 2017 Air Force award

Firefighters assigned to the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron train during the foam test at Hangar 18 on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 31, 2017. The firefighters were a part of the foam test to practice and train for rescue operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell)

Firefighters assigned to the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron train during the foam test at Hangar 18 on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 31, 2017. The firefighters were a part of the foam test to practice and train for rescue operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell)

Senior Airman Cameron Nance, fire protection specialist with the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron, picks up gear from the fire truck Oct. 5, 2017, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Nance participated in a fuel spill exercise simulation, which tested the response actions of base recovery agencies in the event of a mass fuel spill, to ensure installation safety and minimal environmental impact.

Senior Airman Cameron Nance, fire protection specialist with the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron, picks up gear from the fire truck Oct. 5, 2017, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Nance participated in a fuel spill exercise simulation, which tested the response actions of base recovery agencies in the event of a mass fuel spill, to ensure installation safety and minimal environmental impact.

Michael Lefebvre, acting incident commander speaks to Senior Airman William White, fire protection specialist with the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron Oct. 5, 2017, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. They were participating in a fuel spill exercise simulation to test the response actions of base recovery agencies in the event of a mass fuel spill, to ensure installation safety and minimal environmental impact.

Michael Lefebvre, acting incident commander speaks to Senior Airman William White, fire protection specialist with the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron Oct. 5, 2017, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. They were participating in a fuel spill exercise simulation to test the response actions of base recovery agencies in the event of a mass fuel spill, to ensure installation safety and minimal environmental impact.

Senior Airman William White, fire protection specialist with the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron participates in a fuel spill exercise Oct. 5, 2017, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. White participated in a fuel spill exercise simulation, which tested the response actions of base recovery agencies in the event of a mass fuel spill, to ensure installation safety and minimal environmental impact.

Senior Airman William White, fire protection specialist with the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron participates in a fuel spill exercise Oct. 5, 2017, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. White participated in a fuel spill exercise simulation, which tested the response actions of base recovery agencies in the event of a mass fuel spill, to ensure installation safety and minimal environmental impact.

Senior Airman William White, fire protection specialist with the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron picks up a road cone during a fuel spill exercise Oct. 5, 2017, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. White participated in a fuel spill exercise simulation, which tested the response actions of base recovery agencies in the event of a mass fuel spill, to ensure installation safety and minimal environmental impact.

Senior Airman William White, fire protection specialist with the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron picks up a road cone during a fuel spill exercise Oct. 5, 2017, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. White participated in a fuel spill exercise simulation, which tested the response actions of base recovery agencies in the event of a mass fuel spill, to ensure installation safety and minimal environmental impact.

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --

The 673d Civil Engineer Group Fire and Emergency Services won the Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ralph E. Sanborn Fire Department of the Year Award for a large department March 20, 2018.  

These awards recognize all Air Force fire and emergency services organizations for outstanding contributions to the success of the Air Force and Department of Defense missions. 

“For many years now, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson has had a reputation of being competitive among large bases,” said Tech. Sgt. Scott Carter, 673d CES noncommissioned officer in charge of health and safety. “Even though we have won a lot, our goal is not to win awards. We really focus on quality, not quantity. For us, it’s always about our people and making our career field safer.”

At the beginning of every year, management from all eight sections of the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services meet and discuss information put out by the National Fire Protection Association. The NFPA best practices are then used as a tool to develop new goals.

Once the goals are set, meetings are conducted on a weekly basis. This allows all the sections to discuss where each one is, challenges they might be facing and possible items needing to be reassessed.

“Without all of the sections working together, many of the goals we set could never be accomplished,” said Senior Master Sgt. Louis Martinez, 673d Civil Engineer Squadron deputy fire chief. “Awards like this would never be won without everyone doing their part and contributing their individual knowledge.”

It is the dedication of all the individuals representing the 673d Civil Engineer Group Fire and Emergency Services that contributed to the department’s success, Martinez said.    

“I’m proud to know that all of the hard work the men and women at the fire department is being recognized,” Martinez said. “We want our failures and successes to help all the other fire departments out there develop better, safer practices ultimately leading to their success. There is always going to be something that someone else does better; this award is just not about that.”