NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.â€” Firefighters from the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron made a visit to the Child Development Center, April 12, 2012, to educate children and parents about the importance of fire safety.
As part of the Month of the Military Child and the CDCâ€™s community day, a fire truck, firefighters and Sparky the Fire Dog all arrived to greet children in the parking lot of the CDC.
After receiving a replica fire hat, the children gathered around a fire engine and were encouraged to climb inside the cab. While waiting their turn to get in the fire truck, they mingled with Sparky. They learned how a fire truck operates and how it puts out fires.
The lesson of the day was fire safety, and the team had information to share with everyone.
The firefighters briefed the children on fire drills and why they must be practiced every month. Children were reminded how to stay safe in the event of a fire and what to do if they saw smoke. They also learned what to do if an adult is injured, when to call 911 and how to smother a fire in clothing using stop, drop and roll.
Staff Sgt. Scott Edgmond, NCO in charge of public education and fire prevention, said the CDC visit was not just for the kids.
â€œItâ€™s one of the best ways to teach the parents as well as the children,â€ he said.
Edgmond said the topic of disaster and injury must be handled delicately when speaking to children. By having the firefighters come to the CDC, the childrenâ€™s learning was enhanced since they felt comfortable in the familiar environment.
The fire fighters, along with Sparky, emphasized staying safe and showed how the fire department works to save people from fires.
The children got to see a firefighter wearing the equipment used when entering a burning building. Getting familiar with what a firefighter looks like with the mask, suit, gloves and possibly an axe in hand is important.
â€œIf there is an emergency, we show up on scene with all the gear; it can be pretty intimidating,â€ Edgmond said. â€œIf they see what we look like in our gear, it helps them know who we are so they will not be scared and hide from us.â€
To get children even more familiar with the fire safety, fire fighters invited the CDC and students attending Lomie Heard Elementary School to tour the 99th CES fire department. The tours show how the fire fighters train and explain how the dispatch center operates.
â€œWe are customer service based. Whether going to an emergency or answering questions about fire prevention, we like to get out there and be seen,â€ Edgmond said.
For more information on fire prevention, contact the 99th CES fire department at 702-652-9630.