From left to right: Master Sgt. Dustin Hemingway, 10th Missile Squadron superintendant, Master Sgt. Kyle Topp, 341st Missile Wing emergency action controller, Senior Airman Quintin Gilmore, 341st Operations Group knowledge operator, and Staff Sgt. Ryan Ruffini, 12th Missile Squadron facility manager, work as a team at putting out a simulated burning building in the Bucket Brigade station. The Bucket Brigade is considered the Fire Muster’s hardest station. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)
2nd Lt. Terrence Knock, 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron officer in charge, pulls a 100lb sled through the cones, which marks 75 feet while Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Aylward, 341st LRS unit deployment manager, watches and encourages him. Knock and Aylward were two of more than 30 Team Malmstrom members who participated in the Fire Muster Competition on July 20. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)
Senior Airman Terry Butterfield, 341st Mission Support Group knowledge operator, rolls a fire hose as his teammates Chief Master Sgt. Duane Buchi, 341st MSG superintendant, and Col. Angela Stout, 341st MSG commander, cheer him on. Rolling a hose was one of seven stations in the Fire Muster Competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)
Master Sgt. Shane Matt, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, swings a sledge hammer to move a sled at one of the Fire Muster stations. Matt and his teammates were crowned the winners of the event July 20. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)
2nd Lt. Christopher Foti, 341st Security Forces Squadron flight commander, uses a fire hose to knock a basketball off of a cone as Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Wray, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, waits to take the hose before Foti moves to the Bucket Brigade. Wray along with other members of Malmstrom’s fire department were at the Fire Muster competition cheering on other members participating. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)
Staff Sgt. Ryan Ruffini, 12th Missile Squadron facility manager, carries a 120lb dummy 100 feet to tag one of his teammates. This station was one of seven fire department-inspired tasks participants had to accomplish in the Fire Muster Competition July 20. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)
by Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
7/27/2012 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Malmstrom Air Force Base opened the doors of its new Exchange on July 20 to replace the old one, which has served the base for 60 years.
The $12.9 million store, equipped with Military Clothing, Optical, Family Hair Care, Alterations, Subway and the only Popeyes in the state of Montana, allows for a one-stop shop for Airmen and their families.
Shortly after the ceremony, members of Team Malmstrom participated in the second-ever Fire Muster Competition designed to give participants a hands-on look at what firemen are trained to do. Eight teams of four - all from different squadrons - competed for a chance to be named the champions of this year's first Fire Muster.
"We were asked to put together a little competition to bring the morale up by bringing all of the different squadrons together to kind of show them a little bit of what we do," said Scott Johns, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron fire department. "It gives them a little competitive spirit and maybe bragging rights if they beat us in our own competition - our own job."
One member on each team started the competition just like every fireman would once they receive a call.
"They hear the sirens and then, like we would if we're sleeping in the fire station, they get out of bed and run to get on all of their bunkers," Johns said.
Once the first team member was dressed in full gear, they tagged another member of their team who had to use a sledge hammer to move a sled a designated distance. Once that was completed, that member tagged the next person who pulled a 100lb sled 75 feet. At the next station, one team member was required to pull a fire hose 100 feet, turn it on and hit a designated target.
The fifth station, known as the Bucket Brigade, is notoriously the hardest as well as the longest and takes all four members to complete. During the Bucket Brigade, team members were required to fill buckets of water and carry them to a simulated burning building where they threw the water on the roof. The water ran down the gutter into a 55-gallon drum and after the drum was three-fourths of the way filled they could move on to the next station.
Next, one team member had to roll a fire hose and tag the next team member who drug a 120lb dummy 100 feet. The final step was for the member dressed in bunker gear to return to station one, remove the bunker gear and get back into "bed."
"Hopefully, it gives them a little appreciation of what the fire department does," Johns said. "It's definitely not easy, so it gives them a little show of what we do. We're going to see if they can beat our best time. So we'll throw a fire department team up against them right at the very end and try to beat the best time. Last year I think we beat the best time by about two minutes."
Although the fire department wasn't beat at their own game, their time was only 37 seconds faster than the winning team. Following closely behind were the first sergeants represented by Master Sgts. Shane Matt, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron; Herbert Carroll, 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron; and Jeremiah Martin, 341st Operations Group; and Senior Master Sgt. Kraig Nadjkovic, 819th RED HORSE Squadron, with a time of 7 minutes and 41 seconds.
"The first sergeants would like to thank AAFES and the fire department for hosting a great event," Nadjkovic said. "We had a lot of fun and look forward to defending our title in October during Fire Prevention Week."
In second place from the 341st OG, following closely with a time of 7 minutes and 43 seconds, were Master Sgt. Dustin Hemingway, Master Sgt. Kyle Topp, Staff Sgt. Ryan Ruffini and Senior Airman Quintin Gilmore.
There will be a second Fire Muster competition in October, in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week, where teams will be competing for the Fire Muster trophy. The event has been a great success among Team Malmstrom members and the fire department is hoping to continue the competition's increasing participation. They plan to hold two Fire Muster competitions each year and maybe find a team to beat the fire department.