By Fifi Kieschnick, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Public Affairs
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Fire and Emergency Services was selected as the Department of Defense Fire Department of the Year (Medium Category) for 2014.
The awards program recognizes individuals, teams and departments that make significant contributions to fire and emergency services.
They were one of three Navy winners selected as best in the Department of Defense. Also selected was Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, for fire prevention program of the year and fire services instructor of the year.
"To be identified by your peers as the 'Best in DoD' is a remarkable distinction," stated Vice Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander, Navy Installations Command, in a message to regional commanders. "Bravo zulu and congratulations to all of your Navy F&ES DoD award winners."
The department and its 68 personnel provide all hazards emergency response, and fire prevention and public education services. The 60 assigned firefighters responded to 1,255 incidents last year, including 18 fires, 211 emergencies services, 12 rescues, 24 hazardous materials incidents, 654 airfield incidents and more. The fire prevention division completed comprehensive fire inspections on every facility on the installation, issued 595 hazardous operations permits, and provided public fire safety education on and off of the installation reaching 86,000 contacts.
Among other achievements throughout the year, they earned Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) accreditation through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, ensuring organizational excellence. Personnel also completed 33,000 hours of all-hazards and leadership development training, enhancing readiness, which is the core of everything they do.
"It's a pleasure to pass on congratulations to all of your team," said Capt. Steve Banta, NASCC commanding officer. "It's one thing to know that all of the department's hard work is resulting in a continued efficient and effective team, but it sure is great when an outside inspecting agency verifies this and declares you the DoD F&ES Department of the Year!"
Fire Chief John Morris said, "On a daily basis, we strive for excellence in all that we do. That is only possible due to hard work and dedication, individually and as a team. The awards/recognition only serves to validate the great work every member of the department does each and every day.
"This has been an amazing year: we were designated as a CFAI Accredited Agency; we have had a number of personnel complete or start on a degree; and we have had a number of our guys recognized at the installation, region and Navy levels in various awards programs. What we have done as a team has been recognized DoD-wide for these cumulative achievements that includes each division, shift and individual in the department."