For some kids, having a day off from school might allow for a few more video games before mom or dad gets home.
But for the children of School Age Services, here, a scheduled day off Feb. 14 meant they got to learn about fire safety, the environment and the helicopter mission of the National Training Center.
Children participating in the SAS program spend days off supervised and kept busy with activities at building 1322. The program (under Child, Youth & School Services) has an enrollment of about 100 children, said Ivette Guadalupe, Child & Youth program assistant. Approximately 65 went on a trip hosted by 2916th Aviation Battalion, 916th Support Brigade, to the post helipad. At the helipad, six demonstration stations were staffed by Fort Irwin Fire Department personnel, the Bureau of Land Management, and Soldiers of the 2916th AVN BN.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tony Lozano, a helicopter pilot and safety officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2916th, said the unit serves as a sponsor to SAS (similar to other units who sponsor a school on post) and the relationship allows Soldiers to give back to the community.
The partnership, begun in August 2013, has been truly amazing and a huge support for the program, said Andrea Wooley, director of SAS.
“It has been an overall positive influence for the program,” Wooley said.
Paige Lyday, 10 years old and in fifth grade at Tiefort View Intermediate School, said she liked learning about the cargo net used under UH-72A Lakota helicopters. Her friend Christian Lloyd, 11 years old and also a fifth grader at TVIS, explained that the net can carry up to 1,500 pounds. He found interesting the camouflage helicopters (known as Sokols), which are used in the training mission.
“That’s what I liked the best,” Christian said. “They fly behind the mountains and they use them for ‘laser-tag.’”
Fort Irwin Fire Department personnel taught children about fire truck capabilities and fire safety at home. Firefighter Jacob Chavez described the tools on a fire engine and explained that the truck’s main water cannon can expel 1,200 gallons of water per minute. Inside a smoke trailer, fire prevention specialist Patty Setter instructed children to stay low when smoke fills a room and crawl out the nearest exit.
The trip also allowed the children to get out of the SAS facility and release their energy, said Wooley. The SAS program offers care, before and after school, with options for before school only or after school only, for children in first through fifth grade. Participants can also get full day care services during out of school periods, excluding federal holidays, during the school year. For more information call 380-4163/4164. Children must be registered through CYSS at Parent Central, building 109.