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FOL Manta firefighters assist local firefighters

by 1st Lt. Malinda Singleton
478 Expeditionary Operations Squadron Public Affairs

10/1/2007 - FORWARD OPERATING LOCATION MANTA, Ecuador (AFPN) -- Members of the Forward Operating Location Manta Fire Department and medical team responded to a fishing boat fire Sept. 26 here at the request of the local authorities.

The boat, which is owned and operated by a local company here in Manta was only a few miles off shore near FOL Manta when the engine caught on fire.

With the commander's permission, the FOL Manta Fire Department responded with a team of seven members, two fire trucks, and a foam truck. The team also provided 1,290 gallons of foam, hoses, water, and additional equipment to local firefighters for use.

Tech. Sgt. David Smith, the FOL Manta independent duty medical technician worked with local medics to help treat 21 injured fisherman and firefighters on the scene. Five were transported to local hospitals and all but one was released.

The FOL Manta firefighters returned to the station after 12 hours of being on scene.

"This is a perfect example of FOL Manta support to the local community," said Lt. Col. Robert Leonard, the 478 Expeditionary Operations Squadron commander. "Our emergency responders did an amazing job and we will continue to help where we can in assisting the people of Manta."

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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