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Vandenberg fire department aids life-saving rescue

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department extricated a woman from her vehicle approximately 40 feet below the road on U.S. Highway 1, Sept. 27.

"The Vandenberg Fire Department performed superbly and provided the best possible service for a patient in an unfortunate situation," said Tech. Sgt. Alex Retamoza, Vandenberg Fire Emergency Services battalion chief. "This was a multi-agency operation. We received a 911 call of a vehicle that had gone over the side of the road northbound on highway 1 and California Highway Patrolmen were first on-scene and extinguished the small engine fire with a portable extinguisher before it spread. The whole team did an outstanding job as expected. They continually train and are focused on providing the best service possible. They take a lot of pride in their craft as fire fighters and first responders."

According to the Vandenberg Fire Department, firefighters used a low-angle pulley rescue method to transfer the woman, whose car had fallen off the road approximately one mile north of the main gate, to the medics within fifteen minutes. She was subsequently airlifted via a helicopter awaiting her on base to the hospital approximately ten minutes later.

"I'm incredibly proud of the quick response and life saving actions taken by our first responders, the Airmen and civilian Airmen from the Vandenberg Fire Department, and the 30th Security Forces," said Col. Jed Davis, 30th Mission Support Group commander. "Thanks to swift collaboration between Team Vandenberg and American Medical Response, California Shock Trauma Air Rescue Ambulance and the California Highway Patrol, we were able to extract the victim safely and get her to a medical facility within the 'golden hour.'"

The Vandenberg Fire Department reminds all personnel to be aware of surroundings, traffic, road conditions and obey all traffic laws.