Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. -- The Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., fire department was recently recognized as the winner of the 2013 Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Services Award for the Fire Prevention Program of the Year on May 14.
Winners for the second consecutive year, MCAS Yuma was selected after competing on the DoD level against other installations as part of the annual DoD awards program, said J.C. Summers, the assistant chief of MCAS Yuma’s fire department.
The federal awards program distinguishes the best divisional and individual efforts throughout the DoD. The most significant accomplishments of MCAS Yuma were the effectiveness of public education, enforcement of proper procedures, no personal injuries or property damage losses and a 50 percent reduction of fire incidents compared to 2012.
In 2013, the department saved the installation more than $57,000 by managing the Installation Confined Space Entry Program. This program conducted 1,761 fire safety inspections, including 821 military family housing units, which was a first-time accomplishment, and ensured a fire-safe environment for employees and residents.
The department also provided 140 public education classes and events that influenced approximately 4,500 adults and children and certified 130 Marines and civilian employees to the level of fire warden to enhance workplace fire safety.
As one of the small number of Marine Corps fire department facilities to achieve accredited agency status from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, MCAS Yuma is one of the best of the best, said Summers.
“The success over the years is not just from us, but it is because of public education and being able to do our jobs and work with other departments, such as ground safety and the department of safety, that we can provide our services and receive this award,” said Summers.
Though they strive tirelessly to protect personnel and their families aboard MCAS Yuma, the fire department recognizes the services they provide can only be successful with interdepartmental coordination and support.
“It is a collective effort, and working with different departments on a daily basis on the installation helps us be successful…we are always seeking to improve,” said Fire Chief Michael Batson, with the MCAS Yuma fire department.
Providing fire and emergency services protects the installation and maintains mission readiness. For MCAS Yuma personnel, this is a team effort, which is represented by the award.
“I am proud of the department as a whole, but it is a base wide effort,” added Batson.