HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — On Sept. 25, Col. Jennifer Hammerstedt, 75th Air Base Wing commander, signed the 2017 Fire Prevention Week Proclamation at Fire Station 1 here. This document proclaimed Oct. 8-14, 2017, as Fire Prevention Week throughout Hill AFB and urged all base personnel to protect their families by heeding this year’s life safety campaign message, which is “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out!”
In any typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation: It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use the small window of time wisely.
During Fire Prevention Week, the Hill AFB Fire Department worked with the base community as well as off base partners to help spread this campaign message. Throughout the week members of the department set up fire truck tours, educational booths, and commercial kitchen training for the base populous.
On Oct. 11, each class at Hill Field Elementary School was given the opportunity to participate in an obstacle course and to learn about firefighters and their equipment.
On the morning of Oct. 12, four winners from Hill Field Elementary School’s Fire Prevention Week Essay Contest were picked up from their homes in a 100-foot Ariel Ladder Truck and participated in ‘Firefighter for a Day’ activities.
The winners of the contest were introduced during the daily roll call by Fire Chief Paul Erickson and handed their Hill AFB Fire Department bunker gear. The children then learned about each of the firefighting vehicles and performed daily operational inspections alongside the vehicles’ engineers. Additionally, each young firefighter was given the opportunity to extinguish a simulated C-130 aircraft fire while riding inside an Aircraft Response Firefighting vehicle. They then got to extinguish a blazing structure fire with a trained firefighter. The winners ended the day with a lunch provided at the fire station and a stylish ride back to school in a Hill AFB Fire Department engine.
Fire Prevention week ended with a combined Firehouse 5K run and family carnival hosted by both the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office and fire department. The run began at 2 p.m. and took runners past the new fire station headquarters, which will be occupied in November. The run ended at Centennial Park with the top three finishers receiving recognition and prizes during the carnival.
If you missed any of the events or information about this year’s theme, here are a few tips for developing and practicing your own home escape plan:
• Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
• Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
• Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
• Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked so it easy for the fire department to find.
• Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
• Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.