20th CES opens new fire station
By Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 30, 2017
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The 20th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new fire station, June 29.
By placing the satellite station in base housing, 20th CES firefighters will be able to reduce response times to the area, said Senior Master Sgt. Lincoln Ratliff, 20th CES deputy fire chief.
Col. David Vaclavik, 20th Mission Support Group commander, said the facility’s completion, which reduced the 10 minute response time to two minutes or less, could save lives and protect homes from property damage.
The renovation to the pre-existing building required an estimated 4,000 man-hours to be able to accommodate up to five Airmen and one fire truck 24/7.
Airmen assigned to the 20th CES constructed separate sleeping quarters, bathrooms and a fitness room. They also updated the kitchen and expanded the parking lot to meet the building’s new purpose.
“It took courage, competence and ownership to get this done in such a short time,” said Vaclavik. “It blows me away to walk in this building and see what our civilian and military Airmen could put together and accomplish to take care of our Airmen and families.”
The new station opening is a good thing, said Evelyn Walters, family housing resident. She now feels safer because, if there was an emergency at her home, firefighters may take only seconds to respond because the station is so close.
As the installation’s Airmen strive to do their part in protecting the rest of the nation, the construction of this new station shows they also work to ensure the health and safety of the base community, reflecting the commander’s enduring priorities of mission, Airmen and families.