Hill AFB aids fight against Uintah fire

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UINTAH, Utah — The Hill AFB Fire Department has made significant advances in their mutual aid agreements with community fire departments near the base.

One mutual aid agreement was put to the test recently.

Fire personnel and vehicles from the Hill AFB assisted local agencies in fighting a large brush and grass fire exacerbated by high winds in Weber Canyon Sept. 5; the fire threatened homes and structures near Uintah.

Hill AFB assets protected unburned structures and homes in the area, lessening the fire’s impact to the community.

“Weber County Fire encountered a large wild land fire combined with high winds that required a community response to lessen the impact to our citizens,” said Paul Erickson, fire chief for the Hill AFB Fire Dept. “Hill AFB provided 12 personnel with one command and control vehicle, one wild land/urban interface brush vehicle, one rehabilitation trailer, one structural firefighting engine and one 5,000 gallon water tender to provide re-servicing capabilities to areas with no water supplies.”

Hill AFB offers unique firefighting assets and capabilities, and its proximity to many local fire departments are in high demand during incidents such as the Uintah fire.

“Our communities appreciate the number of personnel we can provide to a scene at one time, our hazardous materials response team and equipment, our technical rescue response team, and the equipment and experience we offer,” said Erickson. “Mutual aid agreements provide the receiving agency/organization an increased capability … and they are vital in providing efficient and effective ways to offer standards of cover in every community.”

Mutual aid agreements work both ways and Erickson knows the community is there for the base, if needed.

“We appreciate our community partners and rely on their support as much as they do ours,” he said. “It is a privilege to serve beyond our fence lines to assist our surrounding communities.”