Utah Air National Guard Fire Department assists local firefighters

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. John Winn
  • 151st Air Refueling Wing
On February 22, 2019 at approximately 1:30 a.m., Firefighter Russell Pressley, a driver/operator with the Roland R. Wright Fire Department was dispatched to Salt Lake City when the station received a call that a tanker truck loaded with fuel had been involved in an accident along I-15 southbound.

Pressley took one of the departments three Oshkosh “Striker” fire trucks, which is specifically designed to respond to spray a compressed water/foam mix onto various fire types. The truck, which resembles something out of the movie Armageddon, sprays the water/foam mix that when applied to a fire, smothers the fire, and suppresses oxygen from reaching the flames.

“We use an AFFF, which is an Aqueous Film-Forming Foam. It’s mixed with water at a three percent solution. We have a 1,000 gallon tank, and a 100 gallon tank of foam,” said Pressley. “We refilled three times on scene with water so that we could continue to add product (to the fire).”

The Fire Department has a mutual aid agreement with Salt Lake City whose jurisdiction includes the Salt Lake City Airport. While the airport maintains its own fleet of foam-mix trucks, they aren't always able to leave the airport.

“They do have these vehicles, but they need to maintain them here at the airport to keep the airport operational.” said Pressley “If they take one of vehicles out of service to go on one of the incidents, they would have to shut the airport down.”

Pressley said that on average they get two to three calls a year to support local Fire Fighting efforts in the community. He also said, in addition to the trucks ability to carry the unique fire fighting mixture, it is capable of being operated by a single driver/operator, as was the case on this call.

According to the Utah Highway Patrol, the drivers of the vehicles involved in the incident suffered only minor injuries