Kadena hosts fire prevention week

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Photo By Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis | Children at Kadena Elementary School practice getting low and finding an exit in case of a fire during fire prevention week Oct. 5, 2016, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Fire prevention week is designed to teach kids about fire safety, smoke alarms and fire escape routes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey M. Pettis)
Photo By Airman 1st Class Corey Pettis | Children at Kadena Elementary School practice getting low and finding an exit in case of a fire during fire prevention week Oct. 5, 2016, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Fire prevention week is designed to teach kids about fire safety, smoke alarms and fire escape routes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey M. Pettis)

Kadena hosts fire prevention week

by: Airman 1st Class Corey M. Pettis, 18th Wing Public Affairs | .
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: October 13, 2016

Smoke curls out of the vents as kids get on their hands and knees and crawl to the exit as firefighters from the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron shout instructions.

Firefighters from the 18th CES hosted this year’s fire prevention week, where the slogan is ‘don’t wait - check the date! Replace smoke alarms every 10 years’.

“Fire prevention week is all about fire safety so we teach the kids about smoke alarms, how often you test them and when to replace them,” said Senior Airman David Clark, 18th CES firefighter.

Kadena firefighters brought their trucks, equipment and smoke trailer to the schools on base to teach kids the importance of fire safety, how to check smoke alarms and what to do in the case of a fire.

“The smoke trailer pumps in fake smoke so the kids can practice getting low and crawling out,” said Clark. “It shows you how the smoke rises to the ceiling and as it fills the room it gets lower to the ground, and that’s why you have to low and crawl out.”

The kids also received a tour of a fire truck and were able to handle some of the life-saving equipment, with the goal of getting them familiar with firefighters and the equipment they use.

“The main goal is fire safety,” said Tech Sgt. Richard Ramirez, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge of fire prevention and education. “If we start them out at a young age teaching them fire safety, as they get older they can pass that knowledge on to their families and even their kids one day.”

Students can become the teachers after learning safety tips, and pass that knowledge on to their parents.

“These kids can definitely teach their parents about escape plans and also meeting areas,” said Ramirez. “You’d be surprised how many families don’t have a plan in place in case of a fire where they would exit the house and where they would meet up afterward.”

Fire prevention week ended with a parade of fire trucks through base housing areas while firefighters threw candy to waiting kids on the side of the street.

“I love just being with the kids,” said Ramirez. “I have two small children myself and they enjoy when we come out to their schools, I love seeing the smiles on their faces.”