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Shaw AFB Fire Department responds to local fire

Photo of 20th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department putting out a fire in downtown Sumter South Carolina, oct. 27, 2020.

The 20th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department responds to a local fire with a ladder truck and extra personnel in Sumter, South Carolina, Oct. 27, 2020. The fire itself engulfed a 500,000-square-foot warehouse that stored recyclables like tires and plastics, which required firefighting efforts of crews from Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, Clarendon County, Camden and Columbia. (Courtesy Photo)

Photo of 20th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department who helped put out a fire in downtown Sumter South Carolina, oct. 27, 2020.

Members of the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department pose for a photo at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Nov. 4, 2020. The Shaw AFB Fire Department responded to an off-base fire on Oct. 27, demonstrating a long-standing commitment to the local community and to their life-saving mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- During the night of Oct. 27, the fire department at Shaw Air Force Base responded to a call for assistance at a warehouse fire in Sumter.

Staff Sgt. Samuel Phillips, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron crew chief, said, “We provided hand lines and personnel to help local area fire departments to extinguish hot spots still located throughout the warehouse.”

Along with extra personnel, the Shaw AFB Fire Department was also able to provide ladder trucks, which play a significant role in such large fires.
Airman Vincent Bomberry, 20th CES firefighter, said, “We were one of three initial ladder trucks that responded. The importance of ladder trucks on a fire that size is the ability to get water in places that regular hand lines can’t.”

The fire itself engulfed a 500,000-square-foot warehouse that stored recyclables like tires and plastics, which required firefighting efforts of crews from Shaw AFB, Sumter, Clarendon County, Camden and Columbia.

Thanks to their cooperative relationships, this is not the only time base firefighters have supported the local community and vice versa.

“Shaw Fire Department responds whenever the Sumter Fire Department requests us,” said Bomberry. “We have a mutual aid agreement with them, and in turn, they can come help us if we need the assistance.”

The response of the 20th CES Fire Department demonstrates a long-standing commitment to their life-saving mission and to the local community.

“Our efforts bolster a strong relationship within the community and the base,” said Phillips. “It shows the local area that the base isn’t here just for the Air Force, we are here to aide them also.”