Family friendly fun planned for Fire Prevention Week

RAF MILDENHALL, England --

This year’s Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8 to 14 and to emphasize the importance of planning primary and secondary evacuation routes, this year’s theme is “Every second counts: Plan 2 ways out!”

The 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department has a variety of events planned for families, starting with a parade of emergency services vehicles and finishing with the ever-popular fire muster.

“For the majority of our people on base, they’re stressed with safety protocols and regulations daily,” said Chief Master Sgt. William Taylor, 100th CES installation fire chief. “Although we have a very captive audience when it comes to our military and civilian workforce, sometimes it’s harder to get the message across to children. As they are the key to pushing that fire safety type of mentality throughout their life, this is our big, annual campaign to be able to stress that safety to them and make it fun at the same time.”

For Taylor, fire prevention is the best offense.

“Our job is very dangerous and it’s two-fold – the fire prevention office is like our offensive team and our operations firefighters are the defensive team. If we can stop a fire from happening then I don’t have to put my guys’ lives in jeopardy,” said the fire chief. “We’re an insurance policy, but hopefully we never have to cash it in. If we can prevent it and never have anybody go through the pain and suffering of either getting hurt or losing someone in a fire that’s preventable – that’s our whole job and it’s the majority of our focus.”

The fire department encourages Team Mildenhall Airmen, civilians and their families to come out to the events to have fun and learn more about fire safety.

“We have a week packed full of activities for all ages to get the fire safety message across to the base populace,” said Watch Manager David Bootman, 100th CES Fire Department fire prevention assistant chief. “The importance of being prepared in the event of a fire, pre planning and situational awareness, goes a long way to ensure the safety of your home and family.”

Fire Prevention Week events are as follows:

Sunday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m.: Parade and fire department open house – A parade of several emergency services vehicles will start near long-term parking, head down past on-base housing then along Lincoln road and back to the fire department. Sparky the fire dog and other first responders in the parade will be handing out candy along the way.
o The open house is from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and events include a military working dog and car fire demonstration, hazardous material equipment, coloring station for children, large inflatable slide, along with free hot dogs and hamburgers. There will also be a free prize draw in which entrants must be present to win.

Tuesday, Oct. 10, Noon to 1:30 p.m.: There will be a grease/oil fire demonstration at the RAF Mildenhall BXtra.

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 11 a.m. to noon: Sparky and some of his firefighter friends will be reading to children at the base library.

Thursday, Oct. 12, noon to 1:30 p.m.: RAF Mildenhall firefighters will be performing an auto extrication demonstration (cutting up a car) using the Jaws of Life.
o From 5 to 6:45 p.m. Bowling with Sparky is at the bowling alley, with reduced rates for games and shoe rental.

Friday, Oct. 13, 1 to 4:30 p.m.: Come out and participate in the annual fire muster! There are three categories – men’s, women’s and 50/50 mixed, with four per team. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of each category, and the finale of the event will be the Chiefs vs Eagles.

Saturday, Oct. 14, 2 p.m.: Come watch “Despicable Me 3” with Sparky at the base theatre. There will be reduced rates on small popcorn and small drinks, free to the first 20 children.

For more information or to sign up for the fire muster, email 100ces.ceffireprevention@us.af.mil or call DSN 238-4004, or commercial 01638-544004.