231st CEF uses community support to teach fire safety to servicemembers

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jessica Donnelly
  • 131st Bomb Wing
The 231st Civil Engineer Flight coordinated with a local community fire department to bring hands-on fire prevention training to all members here Oct. 18 in honor of Fire Prevention Month with a theme of "Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned." 

Events included servicemembers using a fire extinguisher to put out a controlled fire, a high angle rappelling demonstration by the Central County Fire and Rescue and blood pressure checks from the Community Fire Protection District. 

"Each person gets an opportunity to put out a real world fire and they actually get hands-on experience, which is invaluable," said Chief Master Sgt. Tim Hill, 231st CEF fire chief. "Most people have seen fire extinguishers but have never used one, so we're giving them training and education to know when to fight or flight." 

Also, the blood pressure check was used to help teach members to keep their health in check and maintain awareness of "Fit to Fight" and the rappel demonstration was used as an opportunity for the servicemembers to get together with their local fire departments and see some of the training the firefighters use in real-world emergencies, added Chief Hill. 

"It's essential to our state mission to communicate with the local firefighters," said Lt. Col. Darren Guttmann, 231st CEF civil engineer. "If a real-world emergency were to happen, we would already have a relationship developed and working together wouldn't be an awkward issue." 

The fire prevention training events were used as a way to get base personnel thinking about safety aspects at work and at home, but it was also a way for members to connect with the local community, explained Chief Hill. 

"It's about community involvement and bringing the community back onto base," said Chief Hill. "The local civilian firefighters can bring their expertise and give an opportunity to answer any questions the members might have." 

For additional information about fire prevention, go to http://www.nfpa.org/