MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, Calif. --
Fire and Emergency Services ramp up its Fire Prevention Week, highlighting its Not Every Hero Wears a Cape campaign aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California.
Fire Prevention Week is an opportunity for fire prevention personnel, firefighters, and paramedics to highlight the importance of fire prevention and life safety measures.
“Anyone can be a hero when it comes to fire prevention and life safety,” said Michelle Bledsoe, fire prevention officer on base. “Everyone is responsible for their own safety and should take measures to help others, as well.”
In addition to highlighting important safety protocols, Fire Prevention Week also serves to learn from past incidents.
“Tragedies from the past, remind us how important it is to practice fire prevention,” said Joann Williams, chief prevention officer for the base. “Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9 in commemoration of The Great Chicago Fire, which burned for two days, beginning on October 8, 1871. That fire caused devastating damage.”
“The Great Chicago Fire fire killed approximately 300 people, and destroyed 3.3 square miles of the city, leaving more than 100,000 residents homeless,” Bledsoe said.
In 1920 President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day Proclamation.
“Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls,” Williams said. “So this is in observance of that incident, but it is also our opportunity to educate the community on the importance of fire and life safety.”
Each year firefighters from MCLB Barstow respond to incidents on base, as well as in the local communities such as Barstow, Daggett, Yermo, Newberry Springs, and more. Some of these incidents include fires which can be prevented with the use of proper fire prevention protocols.
Some of these fire prevention protocols include the following:
- While cooking never leave your stove unattended
- Keep flammables away from open flames, such as pot holders, dishcloths, clothing
- Keep exits clear
- Practice your home evacuation plans
- Test your smoke detectors and change batteries twice a year, when clocks are changed
- Never leave candles unattended
- When barbequing, keep the barbeque at least 15 feet from eaves of the house
- Keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen and garage
- Clean your dryer lint trap after each use
- Don’t overload electrical circuits
The fire prevention team emphasizes the importance of families keeping their children actively involved in their prevention strategies.
“Have your children assist you in drawing up the family’s exit plan for your home, to include drawing your home floor plan with your evacuation routes clearly marked,” said Williams. “Then practice what you’ve drawn with them so that they know where to go and can rehearse the procedures.”
It is also important to teach children how to reach out for help in case of an emergency.
“Remind children how to call the emergency 911 number on your specific phones, and ensure that they’re comfortable using it, but only in emergencies.”
If on base, or on a cellular phone, remember to be specific about the location of the emergency, because it may be the California Highway Patrol dispatch center processing the request for emergency assistance. They may not readily know base locations or terminology for specific buildings. So, be specific and clear when imparting the location, in order to expedite assistance.
Some training is available for military personnel and families on base such as:
- Fire extinguisher use and storage
- Assistance with drawing up emergency evacuation plans
- CPR and First Aid training
If interested in specialized training in fire prevention, or for further information about fire prevention and safety protocols, contact Joann Williams at 760-577-5423. Remember, anyone can be a fire prevention hero, including you!