Spangdahlem Airmen begin Fire Prevention Week 2018

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Spangdahlem Air Base will observe Fire Prevention Week here, Oct. 7-13, 2018, to highlight the importance of fire safety.

The annual event will be held in remembrance of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, one of the most destructive fires in U.S. history, which sparked the start of building standards, firefighting strategies, and public fire safety education.

U.S. President Calvin Coolidge declared Fire Prevention Week a national observance in 1925. Every acting U.S. president has begun the commemoration by signing a proclamation letter.

U.S. Air Force Col. Tad Clark, 52nd Fighter Wing vice commander, kicked off this year’s event by signing a proclamation letter at Fire Station 2, here, Oct. 4, 2018, to continue the tradition. Clark read the letter with Airman 1st Class Josue Rosado, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter. The letter reinforces the base’s commitment of ensuring the safety and security of all those living and visiting here.

Throughout the week, Spangdahlem Airmen will have a large range of options to be educated in fire safety, tactics, and tips, said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Broussard, 52nd CES Fire Prevention NCO in charge.                                     

The theme of this year’s event is, “Look, listen, learn. Be aware, fire can happen anywhere.” The theme emphasizes the importance of looking for places a fire could potentially start, listening for the sound of a smoke alarm, and learning ways to safely exit a room.

“Fire Prevention Week is important because it raises awareness across base so people know how to react when a fire happens,” said Staff Sgt. William Massey, 52nd CES firefighter.

Although the event will teach people how to properly react to a fire, they will also learn how to identify and correct a fire hazard.

“I think the most important thing is the looking part — being able to self-identify when you see something wrong,” Broussard said.

The ability for both adults and children to identify and fix hazards is the goal of fire prevention, Broussard said. Sparky the Fire Dog, a fire-safety mascot, will be at the event as a learning aid for children.

“Sparky is historically one of the focal points for children — to help them not become so nervous when they see firemen,” Broussard said.

Although Sparky will make visits at several locations and will have prize giveaways, the event is serious and can help save lives, Broussard said. Overall event success will occur if people take action and eliminate future potential fires.

“The reason why we’re still talking about this stuff is because it’s still happening,” said Broussard. “If we don’t learn from history with the Great Chicago Fire that happened in the 1800’s, we’re doomed to repeat it.”

The Spangdahlem Fire Department will hold the following events throughout the week:

Oct. 9, 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Child Development Center Sparky visit, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. giveaways at the Shoppette, noon - 2 p.m. youth programs Sparky visit

Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Spangdahlem Elementary School Sparky visit, 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. giveaways at the Exchange

Oct. 11, 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Spangdahlem Elementary School Sparky visit, 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Base library fire prevention story hour, 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. giveaways at the Exchange

Oct. 12, 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Spangdahlem Elementary School Sparky visit, 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., giveaways at the Shoppette

Oct. 13, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Fire Prevention Day at the Exchange and Commissary

For assistance or additional information, contact the Spangdahlem Fire Prevention Office during normal duty hours, Monday through Friday at DSN 452-5292, commercial 0656561-5292, or the Emergency Control Center after hours and weekends at DSN 452-6651, commercial 0656561-6651.