Members of the Oklahoma Military Department (OMD) assigned to the 138th Mission Support Group at the Tulsa Air National Guard Base were called to provide assistance to the Tulsa Fire Department (TFD) August 10.
A tanker truck was dispatched to resupply water to the TFD’s fire engines. Firefighters from OMD, Capt. Bill Schultz and Firefighter JP Rutherford, responded to the request from the TFD to a civilian house fire.
According to Master Sgt. Matthew Tumleson, deputy fire chief for the 138th Fighter Wing, there was not a fire hydrant close to the rural location.
“Normally fire engines would resupply water from a hydrant,” Tumleson said. “Our tanker, once empty, then went to the closest hydrant to resupply for them. They performed this operation several times, but their assistance didn’t stop there.”
Tumleson also added, “Once the fire was under control, TFD teamed one of our Airmen, with their guys to assist in eliminating hotspots and to salvage any personal belongings they could for the family.”
The Tulsa Air National Guard Base have mutual aid agreements with organizations such as the TFD and the Tulsa Police Department. Recently, the Base received assistance from the Tulsa Police Department after a woman made a bomb threat at the front gate. Their quick response and valiant effort to protect Base personnel displayed the importance of continued interoperability between military and civilian organizations.
“Our community relationships are very important to us as Guardsmen,” said Col. Raymond H. Siegfried III, commander of 138th Fighter Wing. “This is where we live and through mutual aid agreements and emergency management organizations, we are ready and able to provide resources to our community partners.”
Members of the 138th have been requested to respond and assist local authorities a number of times, with the most recent being a search and recovery mission after a tornado struck Owasso, Oklahoma, earlier this year.
Col. Bruce Hamilton, commander of the 138th Mission Support Group, had only been in command a few days prior to seeing his personnel respond to the fire.
“I am fortunate to walk into a well-maintained organization that immediately knows what to do when a call for help comes in,” Hamilton said. “The readiness training has paid off and they don’t think twice about it. They may believe that they are “just doing their jobs,” but they are actually making a difference in their community.”