Fifty-six firefighters with the Air Force Academy’s 10th Civil Engineer Squadron were recognized this week for their work during the Waldo Canyon fire.
A Wednesday-afternoon ceremony at Air Force Academy Fire Department Station No. 3 recognized 28 civilian and military firefighters who usually work the night shift.
Those firefighters worked “even” days during the wildfire, the most destructive in the state’s history.
A Thursday-afternoon ceremony, also held at Station No. 3, recognized the remaining firefighters, who comprise the day shift and worked “odd” days during the fire.
Each firefighter was presented with the Air Force Achievement Medal and a citation by Col. Michael Addison, commander of the 10th Mission Support Group.
Thanks to the firefighters’ efforts, no structures were damaged when the blaze spread to academy property on June 27 with flames as high as 60 feet, Addison said.
The firefighters also contributed to efforts off the installation, he said.
Addison praised the firefighters for holding the blaze at Fire Service Road 702, at the southwest corner of the academy’s property.
Among those recognized Thursday was Senior Airman Donnie Brown, an Air Force firefighter of two years who worked as a volunteer firefighter before entering the service.
“We all came together as a team,” Brown said. “When it came down to it, we were ready because of the training we had.”
The achievement medal he received Thursday was his first.
“It means a lot to me,” he said. “I plan to make the Air Force a career, so it makes me feel great.”