Walk into the Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) Fire Department and you will be greeted by people in full military uniforms, but these are the firefighters. The Eielson department is the only fire department in the Fairbanks area that is staffed exclusively by active duty military. They are also the only department in Fairbanks that does both structural firefighting and aircraft firefighting.
“If you look at Eielson as a city, it basically is a city. It is a self-contained little city and we are the fire department that provides the services,” said Scottie Ruester, an assistant chief of operations at the Eielson Fire Department. This means that their firefighters are tasked with taking care of everything on base from buildings to airplanes. They also provide EMS, hazmat and rescue services to the base.