Fire Prevention Week heats up

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Fire Prevention week is here and Ellsworth Air Force Base is ready. The 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Flight hosted a parade and an open house Oct. 7, 2017, to help inform the community on how to be a better and safer place.

The parade went through base housing and then proceeded to the fire station where they held an open house with activities focusing on this year’s theme, “Every second counts: plan 2 ways out!”

“This is a national campaign based on the Great Chicago Fire that burned most of the city down,” said David Olson, 28th CES Fire Protection Flight chief. “This is a week we can really focus on fire safety and prevention for the whole country. Our target audience is the kids so they know what to do in case of a fire.”

This year, the National Fire Protection Association is focused on educating people on the importance of planning two ways out of a house and conducting fire drills on a routine basis.

“The biggest thing I would stress about this week is to plan two ways out,” said Airman Aaron Jude, a firefighter with the 28th CES Fire Protection Flight. “That’s a big focus of this week so in case of an emergency in your house you always have more than one way out. You never know when your first plan will fall through.”

NFPA also highlights the prevention of fires in the first place and to regularly practicing fire drills.

“This week is vital to making sure we know what to do to prevent fires,” said Lt. Col. Gary J. Moore, 28th CES commander. “Like they say, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. We need to get on top of fire prevention and ensure the safety of our families and others. The fire department is actively teaching people about fire safety and to take the appropriate actions when confronted with that type of situation.”

Fire Protection and local fire departments can’t pull this off alone. They coordinate with first responders and other agencies to ensure people are being educated about fire prevention and safety.

“We coordinate with the base and local community to educate the public about fire safety,” Jude said. “We work with the 28th Security Forces Squadron, the 28th Medical Group, as well as local police and fire departments because they play a huge role being first responders like us and rescue teams.”

Jude emphasized that fire prevention and safety starts at home. He also said how important it was to have good habits in a house such as not leaving open flames unattended and preventing fires around the house.

“Fire prevention week is very important because it can save lives,” said Col. John Edwards, the 28th Bomb Wing commander. “Sometimes kids may be the first ones to notice smoke or the smell of smoke, thus can alert others while exiting a house.  It's important that kids know how to safely exit a house that is enveloped in smoke. Every six months I conduct a fire drill with my kids so they know what to do."

First responders on base will also be visiting local schools to teach children about the importance of fire prevention and safety.

“It’s really nice to get out here and be with other first responders I work with and to see all the people come out and learn about how to prevent fires in our homes,” Jude said. “I am very grateful to be able to educate and learn from our community.”

First responders on base will also be visiting local schools to teach children about the importance of fire prevention and safety.