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Into the Flames: Seabees Provide Aid to Marshall Islands Firefighters

Story by EO3 Cheyenne Dahlberg, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1

MAJURO, Republic of the Marshall Islands – Seabees are renowned for their “Can Do” attitude. No matter the situation, Seabees are trained to respond to a variety of crises.

A small team of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 Seabees, attached to the Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, proved their “Can Do” mindset applies all the time, everywhere.

A clothing store across the street from a Majuro hotel engulfed in flames, jeopardizing residential houses that surround it, Oct. 8, 2018. (Photo by UT3 Maria Gilcano)

 

While staying out in a hotel in Majuro, in the early morning of Oct. 8, 2018, nine Seabees awoke to alarms sounding and the smell of smoke in the air. A clothing store across the street was engulfed in flames, and it was jeopardizing residential homes.

“My only thought was that the fire would spread, potentially putting a lot of people at risk,” said Construction Electrician 3rd Class Kevin Torres. “We needed to try and help. I felt like it was my duty.”

Taking action without hesitation, the Seabees ran to the scene with medical supplies in hand preparing for the worst. They ran to the flames to aid local firefighters. Time was of the essence to save the homes; they utilized buckets of water and every other resource on hand to contain the fire. Once water trucks were filled, hoses were deployed to put out the fire.

Hours later the fire was put out with zero casualties. Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class David Rojas checked all personnel, including fire officials, for smoke inhalation and any other possible injuries.

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class David Rojas and Chief Builder Curtis Brickwood, both assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, Construction Civic Action Detail, Marshall Islands, coordinate fire hose support to assist Majuro fire crews put out a fire. When a clothing store across the street from a Majuro hotel engulfed in flames, jeopardizing residential houses, NMCB 1 Sailors provided immediate first aid and firefighting assistance, Oct. 8, 2018. (Photo by UT3 Maria Gilcano)

 

“It was instinct to assess them for injury”, said Rojas. “I was concerned they might have been dehydrated, burned or affected by smoke inhalation.”

This was a situation where our brave men and women were not going to be bystanders. Seabees are not only trained to build and fight, but have the honor, courage, and commitment it takes to run into the flames and do what is right.

“These Seabees illustrated what makes our community so great,” said Chief Builder Curtis Brickwood, leading chief petty officer of CCAD, Marshall Islands. “They are humble servants, ready to assist at a moment’s notice without the thought of personal sacrifice. I couldn’t be prouder to be serving with them.”

The pride of being a Seabee rang throughout the ranks of all those present that day.

“This was a selfless and expeditious act of service which I know will never be forgotten,” said Lt. j.g. Samuel Reimer, officer in charge of CCAD, Marshall Islands. “I could not be more proud and honored to be a part of this team here in the Marshall Islands.”

Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, Construction Civic Action Detail, Marshall Islands, operate a fire hose to assist Majuro fire crews put out a fire. When a clothing store across the street from a Majuro hotel engulfed in flames, jeopardizing residential houses, NMCB 1 Sailors provided immediate first aid and firefighting assistance, Oct. 8, 2018. (Photo by UT3 Maria Gilcano)

 

To learn more about NMCB 1 and their impacts around the world, visit https://www.facebook.com/NMCB-ONE-The-First-and-The-Finest-124282507598400/


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