14:13 GMT19 February 2020
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    Firefighters from Pisz, Poland, were honored earlier this week with certificates of appreciation from NATO Battle Group Poland after their swift response US Army Stryker’s engine fire prevented the armored infantry carrier’s total loss.

    US Army Lt. Col. Andrew Gallo, commander of NATO Battle Group Poland, and Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Brister met with senior fire department officials in Pisz to thank them for their service regarding the mechanical failure of an armored infantry carrier on January 18 outside the village of Gorzekaly, Poland.

    “We are extremely grateful for the fire department's help three weeks ago. “We sincerely appreciate the fire chief's professionalism and dedication to duty,” Gallo said, according to a Monday news release from the US Army.

    “The local firefighters are brave, hard-working people who respond quickly when help is needed. We are excited to continue to build relationships like this one with the local community during our deployment to Poland.”

    U.S. Army Lt. Col Andrew Gallo, the commander of enhanced Forward Presence NATO Battle Group Poland (right), awards a certificate of appreciation to Lt. Col. Pawel Pienkosz, local community fire chief (left), for aiding in the recovery of a Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle, Pisz, Poland, Feb. 10, 2020. NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence consists of four battalion-sized battle groups deploying on a persistent rotational basis to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to demonstrate the alliance’s determination and ability to act as one in response to any aggression against its members. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Timothy Hamlin)
    U.S. Army Lt. Col Andrew Gallo, the commander of enhanced Forward Presence NATO Battle Group Poland (right), awards a certificate of appreciation to Lt. Col. Pawel Pienkosz, local community fire chief (left), for aiding in the recovery of a Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle, Pisz, Poland, Feb. 10, 2020.

    Sputnik reported last month that a total of four fire brigades - WSP Bemowo Piskie, OSP Drygały, OSP Orzysz and JRG Pisz - responded to the engine fire that resulted from a mechanical failure while the vehicle was participating in the Enhanced Forward Presence mission, which is regarded as a showing of strength against Russia.

    Col. Joe Scrocca, spokesman for the US Army Europe, revealed that the damage had been contained to the engine and did not spread to the rest of US Army Stryker.

    “On public roads, we have never had to deal with vehicle fires, of course some kind of accidents but never fires,” local community fire chief Lt. Col. Pawel Pienkosz said, according to the US Army’s Monday release. “We were just doing our jobs; we will do it for you every time.”

    The fire chief added that the “local community values the presence of the American Army very much” and said that he looks forward to working with NATO in the future.

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    US military, US Army Stryker, US Army Europe, US Army, NATO, firefighters, firefighter, Poland
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