YONGSAN GARRISON -- USAG Yongsan's Department of Emergency Services (DES) unveiled their new fire station stall and presented a new hi-tech fire truck to the community during a ribbon cutting ceremony, June 25.

Col. Michael E. Masley, garrison commander for USAG Yongsan, spoke to the crowd before the ribbon cutting describing the improved capability of the 109-foot ladder truck and the garrison's continued priority to safety for the entire community.

"In a fire, that additional reach and water power can make the difference between life and death," Masley said. "The truck is outfitted with the latest safety devices and technology, increasing Yongsan's high-rise and structural fire-fighting capabilities by 50 percent!"

Alex Temporado, USAG Yongsan fire department chief, explained how much the community will benefit from the new vehicle.

"The new stall and ladder truck will work as an incredible advantage to the community. Thanks to the new stall, we can house a larger truck than before and the new truck has increased abilities and more modern devices than the trucks we had," Temporado said. "The new ladder truck can produce 2000 gallons of water per minute which is about twice as the original. The truck is controlled by a computer, sand has rear and side cameras to drive more easily. The ladder of this truck is two to three stories longer than the other trucks, so now we can cover ten stories."

Masley added that vehicles, tools and equipment are useless without the people who operate them.
"Let's take this opportunity to thank our firefighters and all of our emergency responders for the brave work they do each day to help keep us safe," Masley said. "It takes a very special person to put the lives of others ahead of themselves."

He also recognized the fire fighting alliance in the Yongsan and Seoul communities.

"The Republic of Korea and the United States have a sixty-year history of working together," Masley said. "Throughout that time, not only have we defended together, we have fought fires together. Our continuing alliance is demonstrated through our ongoing emergency response and firefighting training with our Korean counterparts. Together, we help ensure the safety of all citizens in our shared community!"

The public was invited to the ceremony, and attendees included Yongsan families, fire fighters, other DES personnel and "Sparky" the Yongsan fire station mascot. A kindergarten class from the Child Development Center and other children attending the event were treated to a tour of the fire station, and a turn sitting in the fire truck.

The previous fire truck dates back to 1991, and will be turned over to the K-16 fire department.