DoD fire academy certifies SAFD Dec. 12, 2022

17th Training Wing Public Affairs

By: Senior Airman Abbey Rieves

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas– The 312th Training Squadron assisted the San Angelo Fire Department in their annual Airport Rescue Fire Fighting certification training at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy, Dec. 8 - 9. 

"We train out here because we don't have the capabilities quite like Goodfellow to get certified in ARFF," said San Angelo Fire Department Firefighter, Casey Scruggs. "I feel very blessed, there's some department's that are not as fortunate as us. This mutual agreement between Goodfellow and San Angelo has been a blessing."

Extending a welcoming hand to the local community fosters a distinctive advantage for the future.   

"The importance behind this training is building community relations," said Tech. Sgt. Donald Marfisi, 312th TRS ARFF instructor supervisor. "We provide assets to the city in times of need and vice versa. San Angelo and Goodfellow Air Force Base have one of the best community relations in the Air Force."

Goodfellow Air Force Base has more than 54 active community agreements, the most agreements in the Air Education and Training Command. Additionally, San Angelo is the only community to have won the Altus Trophy for best community support in AETC three times. This award is presented annually to an AETC community that provides the best support to its local military installation.

Through strong partnerships, the city has also provided funding to modernize training facilities. 

“Building relationships with the San Angelo Fire Department bolsters that community relations dynamic," said Marfisi. "These relationships then support the student body, and infrastructure of this base."  

Leading by example is one way the 17th Training Wing develops, trains, and educates its joint service students to out-think near peer adversaries.

"It is important for our students to see us working with the city here," said Marfisi. "Because after they graduate and get to their duty station, they then know how to work with their local city." 

Goodfellow and San Angelo's relationship exemplifies the true bond of fire protection.   

"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what department you are from or where you work," said Staff Sgt. Jhonny Taborda, 312th TRS ARFF instructor. "We all wear the badge and share the same pride."