• William Woods, a firefighter for the Tarin Kot Fire Department, extends a fire hose during a training exercise Feb. 19 while Afghan National Army soldiers look on at Multi-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. Woods is a Riverside Ca., native. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Edward A. Garibay, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

    U.S. firefighters bring fight to Afghanistan

    William Woods, a firefighter for the Tarin Kot Fire Department, extends a fire hose during a training exercise Feb. 19 while Afghan National Army soldiers look on at Multi-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. Woods is a Riverside Ca., native. (U.S...

  • William Woods (Left) and Avery Hanoumis (Right), firefighters for the Tarin Kot Fire Department and Riverside, Ca., natives, pull equipment from their fire truck Feb. 19 at Multi-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. The truck was passed on to the U.S. firefighters in October when they took over the fire station  from the Dutch. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Edward A. Garibay, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

    U.S. firefighters bring fight to Afghanistan

    William Woods (Left) and Avery Hanoumis (Right), firefighters for the Tarin Kot Fire Department and Riverside, Ca., natives, pull equipment from their fire truck Feb. 19 at Multi-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. The truck was passed on to the U.S...

  • Avery Honoumis, a firefighter for the Tarin Kot Fire Department, prepares to remove his equipment after a training exercise Feb. 19 at Mulit-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. Honoumis is a Riverside Ca., native. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Edward A. Garibay, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

    U.S. firefighters bring fight to Afghanistan

    Avery Honoumis, a firefighter for the Tarin Kot Fire Department, prepares to remove his equipment after a training exercise Feb. 19 at Mulit-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. Honoumis is a Riverside Ca., native. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Edward A...

  • (From back left to front right) Firefighters John Krandall, a Kennedy, Ny., native; Edmund Hodo, a Nixa, Mo., native; Avery Hanoumis, a Riverside, Ca., native; Michael Muston, an Austin, Texas, native; George J. Chambers III, a Hillsboro, Tenn., Native; and William Woods, a Riverside Ca., native, pose in front of their truck Feb. 19 at Multi-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. The firefighters are all part of the Tarin Kot Fire Department that provides fire protection for soldiers from every nation on the base. Their assignment in Afghanistan is for one year, at which point they will be relieved by other U.S. firefighters. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Edward A. Garibay, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

    U.S. firefighters bring fight to Afghanistan

    (From back left to front right) Firefighters John Krandall, a Kennedy, Ny., native; Edmund Hodo, a Nixa, Mo., native; Avery Hanoumis, a Riverside, Ca., native; Michael Muston, an Austin, Texas, native; George J. Chambers III, a Hillsboro, Tenn...

  • Michael Muston, a firefighter for the Tarin Kot Fire Department and Austin, Texas, native removes his equipment after a training exercise Feb. 19 at Mulit-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. The insignia on the back of Muston's shirt is a rendition of the insignia used by the Dutch fire department before the U.S. took over in October. The insignia continuity  is a way to pay homage and carry on tradition said George J. Chambers III, chief of the TKFD and Hillsboro, Tenn., native. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Edward A. Garibay, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

    U.S. firefighters bring fight to Afghanistan

    Michael Muston, a firefighter for the Tarin Kot Fire Department and Austin, Texas, native removes his equipment after a training exercise Feb. 19 at Mulit-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. The insignia on the back of Muston's shirt is a rendition...

  • A fire blazes Nov. 4, 2010 on Multi-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. The fire consumed six Afghan National Army tents and was stopped by the Tarin Kot Fire Department just short of consuming a seventh tent filled with mortars and other explosives. The TKFD fought the fire for over an hour with U.S. Army firefighting forces. The U.S. firefighters from TKFD had only been in Afghanistan two weeks when the raging fire broke out. (Courtesy Photo)

    U.S. firefighters bring fight to Afghanistan

    A fire blazes Nov. 4, 2010 on Multi-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. The fire consumed six Afghan National Army tents and was stopped by the Tarin Kot Fire Department just short of consuming a seventh tent filled with mortars and other explosives...

MULTI-NATIONAL BASE TARIN KOT, Afghanistan - On Sep. 11, 2001 a series of terrorist attacks brought down the Twin Towers killing thousands of innocent people including hundreds of New York City firefighters.

Almost ten years later, U.S. firefighters are still carrying on the memory of their fallen brothers and fighting against terrorism in Afghanistan alongside all of the coalition's military forces.

A group of 22 firefighters from all over the country have joined together to form the Tarin Kot Fire Department and support the mission in Afghanistan.

The TKFD provides fire protection for every nation on Multi-National Base Tarin Kot and provides assistance during rocket attacks, vehicle accidents and medical emergencies.

"It lets the Soldiers do what Soldiers do," said George J. Chambers III, chief of the TKFD and Hillsboro, Tenn. native. "Some people may think I'm nuts, but I like what I'm doing and I get to serve my country again."

Chambers is a retired Air Force firefighter and has been in Afghanistan since Oct. 2010, when the group of U.S. firefighters took over the fire department from the Dutch.

Dominic Ahmee, a firefighter on Chambers' crew recalled one of the biggest fires they put out, just two weeks after arriving in Afghanistan.

"A bunch of [Afghan National Army] tents had caught on fire," said the Kailua Kona, Hawaii native. "We did a quick offensive on it with Army firefighters hitting it from one side with roof turrets while the rest of our fighters attacked the other side putting out spot fires."

With a quick effort from both teams, the fire was extinguished just moments before a tent with the unit's mortar rounds caught fire.

"If that would have caught, it would have been a bad day," said Chambers.

Besides fighting fires, the TKFD also participates in humanitarian efforts. Any time an Afghan child becomes injured, members of the TKFD will go to the hospital and bring them toys as part of a Toys-For-Tots program.

Ahmee said it's amazing to see how much of an impact something so small can have on someone.
The firefighters also donate their own clothing to wounded Afghans who come through the hospital, said Michael Muston, a firefighter for TKFD and Austin, Texas native.

"When some of the wounded come in they have pretty much all their stuff cut off of them," said Muston, a former Army Reserve firefighter. "Just being able to help them out that way is a big thing."

Despite all of the action and activity, the best part of his job is when he can go to bed at night knowing nobody got hurt that day, said Chambers.

"When everybody comes home with ten fingers and ten toes, I can rest easy and we can wake up do it all over again," he said.

Page last updated Sun February 20th, 2011 at 04:44