Story by SGT Zane Craig on 12/07/2016FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. Brig. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Timothy Hilty, assistant adjutant general Army, and Col. Robert Hepner, garrison commander, recognized Fire Chief Donald Wilson Nov. 3, for his role in the successful Department of Health inspection of three emergency response vehicles here.
Pennsylvania Department of Health requires vehicles to be inspected and licensed. Prior to this year, no inspection was required for certification.
A typical inspection takes from two to four hours and includes operational and administrative components.
According to Hepner, Wilson did an excellent job preparing his team and the vehicles for the inspection.
Wilson said he is very proud that all the hard work he and his team put into the inspection has paid off, making Fort Indiantown Gap Fire and Emergency Services one of only two percent of Pennsylvania's approximately 1,700 fire departments to have their vehicles pass the new inspection.
The firefighters at the installation are constantly training and maintaining their certifications to ensure the safety of those working and training here.
Wilson explained the fire department has to maintain multiple certifications including HAZMAT, firefighter levels one through four, airport firefighter, driver/operator/pumper, fire officer and instructor.
Every Department of Defense-run fire station maintains these mandates. On each shift there is a qualified emergency medical technician which allows the department to respond to medical calls and provide initial care.
Fort Indiantown Gap has more than 700 structures on post, large areas of forest, ponds, lakes and streams, airfields, live-fire bombing ranges, small arms ranges and a variety of other training areas. To help protect these facilities and the personnel using them, the station has two engines, one brush truck, two aircraft rescue and firefighting trucks, and two boats. It has more than 20 full-time, paid firefighters, some of whom are Soldiers, some state employees and some federal employees. The firefighters are on-duty 24/7 in multiple shifts.
First responders have a difficult job, but the firefighters at Fort Indiantown Gap are trained and equipped for their unique mission here.