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Maintainers ensure fire trucks top priority

By Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gonsier 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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The 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron's fleet of fire trucks would be unable to protect Team Barksdale without a small group of maintainers who specialize in repairing them.

The 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron fire truck and refueling maintenance shop makes certain firefighters are able to focus on protecting Barksdale.

"We maintain 14 fire trucks which are used for aircraft and structure fires," said Staff Sgt. Brett Rountree, 2 LRS fire truck and refueling maintenance assistant NCO in charge. "Fire trucks have unique systems which require in-depth knowledge on how to maintain."

To maintain these vehicles, the shop has seven dedicated mechanics who work as a team to ensure the mission never stops.

"The main vehicle maintenance shop is already responsible for more than 700 vehicles," Rountree said. "Pulling Airmen away from a vehicle they are working on to focus on a fire truck could hinder their mission. By having Airmen specialize in maintaining fire trucks, no one's mission is put on hold."

The time it takes to repair a fire truck varies.

"A lot of factors determine the time it takes to repair a truck," Rountree said. "While the shop performs many quick fixes, some of the trucks may require specialized parts that need to be ordered."

Timeliness is an important factor to the mission, so maintainers certify vehicles are functioning and mission ready.

"An aircraft would be unable to land without fire trucks ready to go," Rountree said. "Just in case something were to happen on the flightline or anywhere else, working vehicles need to be available at all times."

While the firefighters and maintainers have two completely different jobs, they work together to identify any known problems a vehicle may encounter.

"When there is a problem with the truck, a firefighter brings it in, and tells us what the problem is," said Edward Pratt, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron heavy duty mobile mechanic. "The relationship we have with the firefighters is similar to one between a car dealership and a customer."

"Their ability to repair fire trucks is absolutely vital to the firefighting mission," said Staff Sgt. Thomas Linson, 2 CES fire protection crew chief. "Having a section dedicated to our fire trucks and next to our stations enables us to get them back as soon as possible."

Fire trucks are essential to the Barksdale mission, and the maintainers guarantee these vehicles are ready to protect the well being of all personnel.