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Vandenberg member is the Fire Officer of the Year

Tim Sandstrom, the special operations chief of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron’s fire department, was selected as the Fire Officer of the Year for Air Force Space Command recently. (Courtesy photo)

Tim Sandstrom, the special operations chief of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron’s fire department, was selected as the Fire Officer of the Year for Air Force Space Command recently. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The special operations chief of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron's fire department here received Air Force Space Command's Fire Officer of the Year Award recently. 

This is the second time Tim Sandstrom was selected for this award. 

"It's an honor to win the award, especially against so many outstanding individuals," said Mr. Sandstrom. 

Mr. Sandstrom received this prestigious award because he has knowledge of every job within the fire department, said Mark Farias, Vandenberg's fire chief. 

As an accreditation program manager for hazardous material in medical and the technical rescue side of the fire department, Mr. Sandstrom is one out of 100 accreditation program managers on the planet, said Mr. Farias. 

"He's taught hazardous material technician courses for 25 firefighters, certified nearly 400 bioenvironmental and security forces personnel to hazardous awareness, which helped to alleviate three years of deployment shortfalls," the fire chief said. 

Part of his success is due to working with county fire departments to support California wild fires, as well as working on Vandenberg, Mr. Sandstrom said. Most Air Force fire fighters deal with airplanes, but because of Vandenberg's unique mission, he is able to expand his capabilities. 

For example, Mr. Sandstrom rewrote the communicable disease training program making it 100 percent Occupational Safety Health Administration compliant, according to reports. In another example, he developed an integrated database for the civil engineering mobility team, which cross references Army manuals to make Airman war ready during in-lieu of taskings with the Army. 

"When I'm given a task, I'm constantly trying to improve it ... and I still wouldn't be satisfied," said Mr. Sandstrom. 

"He goes above and beyond what the Air Force requires," said Mr. Farias. 

In fact, the main reason Mr. Sandstrom won this award is because of himself, working tirelessly and taking the department to the next level, said Farias.