It is not uncommon for the strongest bonds to be forged in fire. For the fire departments in Indian Springs, that is meant quite literally.
The sun was just about to rise when Jason Mealey, Creech Fire Department Chief Two, received an emergency call at approximately 4 a.m. to respond and support the Clark County FD at a fire in Indian Springs on Jan. 18, 2021.
“As soon as I pulled out of the station, I could see the flames up in the air over in Indian Springs,” Mealey said. “I called Las Vegas Fire Rescue dispatch and initiated a second alarm, which would bring crews from downtown. I knew we were going to need it.”
With the nearest FD more than 30 minutes away, six from Creech FD were the first to arrive on scene. There they found a mobile home fully engulfed in the fire along with three surrounding mobile homes beginning to burn.
A single burn victim was identified and the residents of surrounding mobile homes were evacuated.
Firemen immediately rendered aid to the single burn victim and treated them for shock before a neighbor took him to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
The Creech FD then began their battle with the fire. Their first objective was to control exposures, and focus on preventing the fire from spreading. This proved to be a challenge when firefighters realized the nearest fire hydrant was half a mile away.
However, Creech FD quickly adapted and sent runners, and a tanker, which is a large truck used to store water, to the hydrant to shuttle water back and forth to the fire engines. After about 25 minutes of this, the crews from LVFR and Clark County FD arrived.
“At that point, I assigned their crew to different tasks on-scene, and we began the attack on the main mobile home,” Mealey said.
With the extra crews present, some of the Creech AFB crew were provided with food and water to replenish while the LVFR and Clark County crews fought the fire alongside the team.
Approximately two hours after the initial call, the Clark County, Creech, and LVFR crews had completely extinguished the flames. The scene was then turned over to Clark County Fire Investigations, and the cause remains unknown. Since then, the burn victim has been released from UMC in Las Vegas and is recovering.
The teamwork and dedication displayed in Indian Springs that morning, resulted in a successfully extinguished fire. Each member from the FDs involved was essential to preventing what could have been a crippling blow to the community of Indian Springs.
“One of the big things is that all of our surrounding communities are a lot like us, a very small department,” Mealey said. “And with the Clark County Fire Department being mostly volunteers, there’s times where they might only have one person able to respond, and there’s times where they have a full truck of four. So it’s nice for us to be able to assist them and the community outside the base because they do the same for us.”
The mutual-aid relationship between Clark County and Creech’s fire departments has proven its importance many times. Whether it’s for emergencies or training, both departments know they can count on each other. These countless interactions have forged a relationship which reflects their drive to help the communities around them.
When it comes to helping one another, neither department hesitates. There is no question about their commitment to saving a life or extinguishing a fire. The residents of Indian Springs expressed their gratitude for both departments’ quick response to the emergency.
“The first responders, volunteers, and neighbors worked seamlessly in an outstanding demonstration of professionalism and commitment to save our community from a much larger and devastating fire,” said Sharon Daun, Indian Springs resident, in a letter to the departments involved. “Without their quick, organized, and tenacious responsive actions, the fire would have taken a much greater toll on our families, livelihood, and our community here in Indian Springs.”
In this particular incident, both departments were able to save the community $150K in damages.
“To the fire departments who worked seamlessly to save our community from who knows what kind of an outcome,” Daun said. “Thank you for coming to our rescue and we will always be grateful for all of you.”