News happening around Little Rock Air Force Base


Base firefighters help contain local fuel spill

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --  Three base firefighters came to the rescue of the North Little Rock Fire Department after a fuel tanker overturned on the eastbound lane of I-40 Aug. 26.
Staff Sgt. Shane Tolison, Airman 1st Class Jacob Schmidt and Airman Luke Fogle, 314th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters, responded to the scene and helped contain more than 3,500 gallons of fuel that had leaked out of the truck.
"It was a dangerous situation because of the fuel vapors," said Sergeant Tolison.
Fuel vapors are highly flammable and can ignite very easily, according to the sergeant.
The base team quickly applied firefighting foam to the fuel surface which contained the vapors. Little Rock AFB Fire Department has a mutual aid agreement with North Little Rock to provide support when needed.
"Our services were requested because of our capabilities in dealing with large quantities of fuel," said Base Fire Chief Don Smart. "We deployed a crash vehicle and a utility truck ... (that) is capable of applying foam over a large area quickly."
Once the situation was under control, the team assisted moving the unspilled fueled into another truck, conducted site surveys, and helped eliminate sources that could ignite the fuel.
For Airmen Schmidt and Fogle, this was the first time they were able to put practice into reality.
"It was interesting," said Airman Schmidt. "I finally got to do my job (instead of training for it)."
And the North Little Rock fire department officials said they are grateful for their service.
"We couldn't provide that service without a long delay, but the (base fire department) was able to bring (the foam) with them," said fire Chief Joe McCall, North Little Rock Fire Department. "It is nice to know that we can call on others to help, and we couldn't tell the difference between the Airmen and our firefighters. They did great."
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