By Brian Hagberg
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
ELLICOTT, Colo. — Ellicott and Schriever Air Force Base Fire Department members explained the importance of having an evacuation plan and using senses to escape a fire during an assembly at Ellicott Elementary School Monday.
“Many of the children who live on base attend the school,” said Brad Truver, Schriever AFB FD assistant chief. “Coming to the school builds relations(hips) with the Ellicott Fire Department and the school district.”
The school visit was the first of many events the SFD has planned for Fire Prevention Week. Fire Prevention Week is an annual fire safety campaign sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association.
“It’s fire (prevention) week and it’s important for us to get out there,” said Lt. Chester Brandt, Ellicott Fire Department. “These kids are our future.”
Truver opened the assembly by explaining the role firefighters play and the importance of fire safety. A brief animated video starring “Sparky” the fire dog demonstrated the importance of having an escape plan and how to safely evacuate during a fire.
“The video emphasizes protecting your family by using your senses,” Truver said.
Firefighter Justin Greco demonstrated how quickly firefighters can go from street clothes to full fire gear, both to show the children how much protection they wear and to help them feel more comfortable if they encounter a firefighter during a fire.
“It shows the change from regular person to firefighter,” Truver said.
“We gear up to show them there’s a person in the gear,” Brandt added. “We want to make sure they’re not afraid.”
Following the video, Truver demonstrated how smoke alarms work and described the importance of testing them regularly. Smoke alarms are the primary focus of Fire Prevention Week for the third consecutive year.
“NFPA’s survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire,” the NFPA said.
“Sparky” arrived to conclude the assembly with a demonstration of the “stop, drop and roll” technique.
The SFD will have an information table at the west portal 6:30 — 8 a.m. and at the Missile Defense Agency 11 a.m. — noon Wednesday and at the Satellite Dish dining facility noon — 1 p.m. Thursday.
Firefighters will also visit the Schriever Child Development Center 9 a.m. Friday with their fire truck and “Sparky”. After the visit, the fire department will teach the school aged children home fire safety by utilizing their interactive fire safety trailer which includes kitchen safety and how to escape smoky conditions in a bedroom.
The Tierra Vista Community Center will be hosting an open house 4 — 6 p.m. Friday. The event will include snacks, giveaways, handouts, visits from “Sparky” and other activities for the whole family. The SFD will have their fire trucks and equipment on display.
For more information, visit www.firepreventionweek.org or call the Schriever AFB FD at 567-3370.