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Vandenberg Airmen fired-up for National Fire Prevention Week

Col. Chris Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, and Sparky the Fire Dog discuss fire safety during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Established to remember the great Chicago fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people and burned more than 2,000 acres, National Fire Prevention Week has been observed nationwide since the first proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson in 1920. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ian Dudley/Released)

Col. Chris Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, and Sparky the Fire Dog discuss fire safety during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Established to remember the great Chicago fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people and burned more than 2,000 acres, National Fire Prevention Week has been observed nationwide since the first proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson in 1920. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ian Dudley/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg is currently recognizing National Fire Prevention Week, here, Oct. 5 through 9.

This year's theme is "hear the beep where you sleep", which aims to remind people to ensure they have a working smoke detector in their bedrooms and that they replace the batteries when depleted.

"This week is very important because it's good to have a refresher every year on basic fire safety," said Staff Sgt. Lucero Pierce, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector. "It's definitely worth it to spend the time and effort to make the week happen. The interactive events really work. For example, our hands-on fire extinguisher training is always very popular and it gives people the opportunity to actually touch the extinguishers and gain experience using them."

Established to remember the great Chicago fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people and burned more than 2,000 acres, National Fire Prevention Week has been observed nationwide since the first proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson in 1920.

"It's nationally recognized, the president of the United States kicks it off and it allows fire sections across the country to really reinforce the foundation of basic fire safety skills," said Jason Haddock, 30th CES risk management division chief. "It just gives us one week to reinforce skills people have learned throughout the year."

With California's susceptibility to intense droughts and wildfires, members of Team-V are encouraged to participate in the week's activities, and acquire as much fire safety knowledge as possible.

"Participation is especially important being in the military because it's all about the team, no matter what your job is," said Pierce. "No matter where you work, you never know when a fire could pop up and if you have basic skills -- you could prevent a disaster. You can also do it as a team building activity. We encourage people to bring their friends and co-workers out to all our events and that way they learn useful practices while having some fun."

In addition to reminding base personnel of proper fire safety practices, most of the week's events are interactive and can be used to build esprit de corps within units.

"We try to have everything hands-on this week," said Haddock. "We use our live-fire burn, we have a smoke trailer that we bring to the youth center, we do hands-on familiarization with the schools and we have our fire muster on Friday, which is a huge team building activity. Not only are you able to get out there and have fun but you're learning important fire safety skills. Everyone is on the same playing field out there. We have a team with the wing commander, a team of CES 'dirt boys' and a team of Defenders - to name a few. It's about having fun but it's also an interactive way to learn."

For more information on fire prevention week, contact Scott Balatgek or Jason Haddock at 805-606-4680.

The week's events include:

Oct. 7 - Manzanita Elementary School assembly 8:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Youth Center visit with fire education trailer 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Fire safety home surveys for housing occupants 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 8 - Child Development Center visit with Sparky the fire dog and a fire truck 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Fire safety home surveys for housing occupants 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Parade through base housing starting at 5 p.m.

Oct. 9 - Fire Muster team building competition 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.