Toys of the Trade, Fire Department
By Senior Airman Jameel Moses, 130th Airlift Wing
/ Published March 07, 2009
Charleston, W.Va. -- Christmas came right on time for the 130th Airlift Wing Fire Deparment this year. The department received a new P-30 Rescue Truck in December which was activated January 2009. The truck is the department's replacement for their previous 1985 model which Tech. Sgt. Olaf Funfstuck, a full-time member of the wing's fire department, said was "worn out and severely undersized." The new truck is certainly capable of carrying all of the department's equipment necessary for their rescue missions and emergencies. It should be, since the rescue truck must be on-site for any emergency call, whether it be for an airport terminal emergency, flightline accident, high angle or vertical rescue, confined space rescue, or automobile accident.
The equipment that the truck must carry includes a sensor for confined space rescues which monitors oxygen, hyrdrogen sulfide, and carbon monoxide levels, as well as the lower explosive limit. Another high-tech device that Senior Airman Brandon Holstein, a traditional guardsman and temporary full time fire fighter, was excited to show off was a handheld thermal imaging device, used to find victims in a fire by seeing temperature differences. The device is also used to find hidden fires within walls, as well as the seed, or hottest part of the fire.
Master Sgt. Craig McCormick, another full time department member, and Tech. Sgt. Funfstuck, were all too eager to pull the new truck out of the garage to show us. Smiles stretched across their faces as they extended the, now hydraulically powered, work lights on the top of their new toy. The former truck used a generator that was started manually and the lights had to be extended and adjusted by hand, whereas the new truck has a built-in generator and a sophisticated electrical system. The new work lights can also be rotated individually of each other to shine light in multiple directions. The truck has already proven useful on several emergency calls since its activation in January.