Niagara Port Dawgs load firetruck for community in need

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Lucas Morrow
  • 914th Air Refueling Wing

Air transportation specialists, or port dawgs, of the 30th Aerial Port Squadron and loadmasters of the 301st Airlift Squadron loaded a firetruck and a portable water reserve tank onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York, on Dec. 9, 2022, to be donated to La Ciénaga, Dominican Republic.

La Ciénaga is a municipality of Baharona Province with an estimated population of about 9,000 people who are without a local emergency fire protection service. Firefighters without Borders, a non-profit organization based in Ontario, Canada, made the request to transport the 6,600-pound pumper firetruck through the U.S. Transportation Command's Denton Humanitarian Assistance Program.

Firefighters without Borders said they plan to send a team of instructors to the Dominican Republic to help deliver the equipment to La Ciénaga and will provide basic firefighting, auto extraction and rescue training to their community.

Chief Master Sgt. Jason Miller, 30th Aerial Port Squadron Manager, says it's assignments like these that put special meaning into the equipment they deliver.

"We've been supporting Denton for years, but this one was special because of the time of the year," said Miller. "It's just awesome to be able to put that much effort into preparing and loading this equipment and to know it's going to a community that can use it."

But 30 APS's effort is not just in the spirit of giving this holiday season. The Denton Program builds essential relationships with partner squadrons around the globe and gives invaluable on-the-job training for their airmen. These are essential in meeting one of Lt. Gen. John Healy's expectations he gave to all Reserve Citizen Airmen when he assumed command of the Air Force Reserve in August--to always be ready.

And with the C-17 landing, loading and taking-off in less than 45 minutes, it's safe to say NFARS's port dawgs have Healy's expectation locked in.

The Denton Program was designed to help NGOs deliver goods, like this firetruck, to developing nations in an effort to ease human suffering. Learn more about the program and how organizations can submit an application for transport.