ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Firefighters from the 97th Civil Engineer Squadron help increase fire safety awareness by training during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 11-14, at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
Fire Prevention Week was created in 1922 by the National Fire Protection Association after the Great Chicago Fire, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of the annual observance with the campaign “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.”
“This is one week we can go out there and show the public what we do and make them aware,” said Justin Shipman, 97th CES fire inspector. “On Air Force bases, there aren't a lot of fires, people might get complacent at their house so we want to make sure everyone is practicing this in case that worst case scenario happens.”
Making sure every firefighter is trained and ready for that worst case scenario is a vital part of fire prevention at the 97th CES.
“The training we complete over the course of this week and anytime during the year, prepares us for what could happen,” said Airman Nickolas Mitchell, 97th CES firefighter. “The training not only makes me feel more confident in what I do but it teaches me something new every time and betters my skills.”
According to Shipman, during a fire, people could only have minutes to find an escape therefore making it important for every member of the community to understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.
“Fire Prevention Week keeps firefighters from having to intervene in the first place,” said Mitchell. “Educating people on the essential basics will help people not have their belongings taken from them and potentially their lives.”
Shipman reminds Airmen and families to remember these fire prevention tips, because it could be a matter of life or death.
“Having an escape plan is one of the most vital preventative measures for households,” he said. “As well as changing smoke alarm batteries every six months, knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, and teaching children to not be scared of firefighters.”
Sometimes fire prevention is not fire-proof, in the case of a fire emergency, please call 9-1-1.