BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)- The fiery blaze from the wreckage of UPS Flight 1354 took more than 100 firefighters to control. Birmingham Fire and Rescue sent 35 units, but the rest were comprised from a source you may not think of often. The Alabama Air National Guard 117th Air Refueling Wing sent crews to help with the fire. “When it comes to doing the job, where anyones paycheck comes from, doesn’t really make any difference,” said Col. Scott Grant, the Current Maintenance Group Commander. “We are pretty much at the beck and call of what folks from these outside entities could be requesting.”
These types of events are something the Air National Guard prepares for year-round. “Everyone of them is continuously in training, training never stops,” said Col. Grant. That does not mean the assignments are easy. Col. Grant says the terrain surrounding the wreck site was difficult to navigate because of fences and hills. The fire was contained quickly with the teamwork of the Air National Guard and Birmingham Fire and Rescue.
According to Col. Grant, his crews will also assist with clean-up once the investigation is done. The NTSB was waiting for the tail portion of the plane to quit smoldering so they could retrieve the black boxes as of Wednesday evening.