COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
The Columbus Air Force Base 14th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Airmen are always involved with the base and community functions to educate everyone about safety and emergency procedures.
Much of what the Fire Protection Airmen do is crucial to the pilot-based emergencies that may occur at any time, but beyond the safety of the pilots on base they are always trying to help the community.
“We try to have someone at every community event planning committee meeting,” said Peter Delillo, 14th CES Fire Prevention Inspector. “We obviously cannot support every event but we do our best to show up to as much as we can to get involved with the community.”
For the event at Fireworks on the Water, July 1, 2017, the Fire Protection brought a static display of one of their trucks as well as had a tent selling items to people attending the event.
“As Fire Protection we usually are only seen when bad things are happening, to save the day you know?” Delillo said. “But we like to show the people the good sides to emergency responders showing up, to show who we are and hopefully educate them in the process.”
The Airmen in the department enjoy the opportunities to go to community events for many reasons, the largest reason is being able to meet those they are honored to protect and to put a name and face to their job.
“The opportunities for networking and communicating with the people we work for and around is really cool,” said Airman 1st Class Jared Montgomery, 14th CES driver operator. “And the gratitude we receive really is amazing. It’s always something new and really keeps the job fun and interesting.”
At community events off-base, a lot of the emergency management and response is out of Columbus AFB jurisdiction, but they are always prepared.
At Fireworks on the Water the static display was ready for use and had two uniformed Fire Protection Airmen ready to answer questions and engage with bystanders, but were also prepared to help in emergency situations.
A lot of preparation is involved for events such as Fireworks on the Water and an air show, but it is necessary to help keep lives safe and can be a great resource to stopping accidents from occurring, Delillo said.
The Fire Protection Airmen are important for the safety at base events, especially the air show scheduled for April 21-22, 2018.
They will station three active and ready trucks along the flightline and will have a static display as well.
“We are here for the day-to-day of the pilots in the air, the Airmen on base, and their families. We will always be trying to educate to prevent any dangerous situation as well,” Delillo said. “Anytime anyone sees us I want people to ask questions and learn about what we do, it is always great to help out our community.”