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Schriever Fire Department partners with community

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Schriever Air Force Base firefighters work with Rocky Mountain Medical to transport a victim during a simulated emergency at Schriever Air Force Base, June 15, 2016. The fire department is required to train annually with their mutual aid partners, but an effort is made to conduct joint training more often (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Schriever Air Force Base firefighters work with Rocky Mountain Medical to transport a victim during a simulated emergency at Schriever Air Force Base, June 15, 2016. The fire department is required to train annually with their mutual aid partners, but an effort is made to conduct joint training more often (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

A 214-acre wildlands fire broke out in El Paso County initiating a mutual aid agreement request, between the Ellicott Fire Protection District and Schriever Air Force Base Fire Department.

 “We have four mutual aid agreements with Ellicott fire protection district (which Schriever falls under), Falcon Fire Protection District, Colorado Springs Fire Protection District and El Paso County Sheriff’s Office,” said Chief Mark Captain, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department fire chief.

Schriever’s Fire Department just renewed its mutual aid agreement with these agencies earlier this year, said Captain. However, these partners have supported each other for at least 20 years.

“We see it as essential to supporting the community and it also fulfills Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 for federal agencies to support local municipalities when they are overwhelmed,” said Chief Dale Ross, 50 CES Fire Department Deputy fire chief.

In the case of the recent brush fire, Schriever’s Fire Department was closer to the fire’s alleged origin point. Due to the location of Ellicott’s Fire Department and its size, aid was needed in fighting the fire.

“With brush fires, if there is a possible structure involved, you would want to bring in as many resources as possible,” said Captain.

In addition to Schriever Air Force Base’s Fire Department, Falcon Fire Protection District responded as well.

Mutual aid agreement’s success hinges on combined training.

“We just had training last month with Colorado Springs Fire Department and it focused on auto extrication. This year we have done joint training with each of our partners,” said Captain.

It is a requirement for training to occur annually with each partner, but an effort is made to conduct joint training more often. The topic of training is different every time.

“Prior to our training with CSFD, we have had El Paso County’s hazardous material team conduct training   with our HAZMAT team as a joint effort,” said Ross. “As much as Ellicott needs us, if something were to happen at Schriever, we would need them and/or Falcon and Colorado Springs.”

With agencies facing budget cuts on a federal and local scale, these mutual aid agreements are more important now than ever.

“It is only natural for all of us to share our resources and help each other, so the mutual aid agreement is beneficial both ways,” said Ross. “Our guys see the importance of the mutual aid agreement.” 

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