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JBSA News
NEWS | Oct. 18, 2019

Push button enhances safety, meets codes at service station

By Robert Goetz 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affaris

An emergency fuel shutoff push-button switch is now in operation at the Air Force service station on the east side of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

“Emergency fuel shutoff push buttons are required wherever there is a potential for an accidental release,” said Mokhtar Gaballa, 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron electrical engineer. “The introduction of air into a fuel receiving system poses extreme hazards that can result in fire and/or an explosion. Hazards are compounded when an air/fuel mixture is passed through receipt filter/separators where static electricity is generated and ignition can occur.”

EFSO push-button stations are required near tanks, tank car and tank truck loading and off-loading areas, refueler truck fill stands, aircraft direct fueling stations, pumps and fuel piers, Gaballa said.

The push-button switch enhances safety at the JBSA-Randolph service station and enables the facility to meet current electrical safety code requirements.

“All fuel pumps shall shut down and all motor-operated valves shall close when an EFSO push button is pressed,” Gaballa said.

The project to install the fuel shutoff push button switch was authorized after fuels contractors discovered a deficiency at the fuel shutoff’s previous location, said Randy Galloway, 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels bulk storage technician.

That location, about 50 feet from the service station, building 179, had a transfer switch, not the push button required by electrical, electrical safety and petroleum fuel facility codes.

“The new button is what the UFC 3-460-01 requires,” Galloway said, referring to United Facilities Criteria for petroleum fuel facilities. “Also, its location is central to the islands and the distance is no closer than 25 feet as required.”

The project – a collaborative effort of 502nd LRS fuels contractors; Scott Mikos, 802nd CES Program Management installation chief; Sylvia Rodriguez, 802nd CES construction manager; and the contractor, Henock Construction of San Antonio – required Henock to install a weatherproof emergency shutoff push-button switch on the exterior of building 179, connect it to the electrical panel inside the structure and provide signs that identify the EFSO push-button switch and instructions for use. The contractor was also authorized to provide and install all the parts to complete the electrical work for the project.

The service station is in the 502nd LRS Vehicle Operations motor pool facility, where fuel pumps dispense diesel fuel, regular unleaded gasoline and E-85 unleaded gasoline to some 500 government vehicles, including fire trucks, ambulances and buses, as well as to flight line equipment, lawn equipment and power washers. In addition, vehicles are staged and parked there on a regular basis.