YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- Local Yongsan fire stations showed Community members how to prevent fires and what to do when encountered fire incidents during a series of events in recognition of Fire Prevention Week here, Oct. 10-11.

U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan's Directorate of Fire Emergency Services Fire Station partnered with the Yongsan-gu Fire Station for the week. They organized and developed many different trainings and activities for children to participate learn from.

Class by class, students from Seoul American Elementary School kept on coming to the fire station. As they were coming, fire fighters from both fire stations got busy talking and demonstrating. They put their best efforts to let students be aware of the seriousness of fire and how to be safe from it.

This year's theme was 'Have 2 Ways Out.' Alex Temperado, chief of USAG Yongan's Fire Station, emphasized that it is important to know at least two exits whenever going into buildings so one can evacuate quickly in case of emergency.

He also explained that the Fire Prevention week is linked to the Great Chicago fire that happened in 1871. "The Great Chicago fire caused a huge destruction and after that, all the fire departments throughout the United States partnered to remind people the dangers of fire," Temperado said.

After watching short fire safety video, students went through various activities and trainings. They learned how to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to use fire extinguisher. Some of the fire fighters from City Fire Station had language problems at first, but kids' active participation broke down the wall between them and they could get along throughout the trainings.

The biggest training, the one that made kids curious the most was the disaster trainer. It looked like a regular truck outside but it simulated earthquake and fire incident inside. Kids were told to follow the exit sign and escape the truck by using a slide.

Aubrey Arnett, 5th grade at Seoul American Elementary School, enjoyed the event and was excited after going through the disaster trainer. "We went through a little hall way that was pretending to be on the fire and we escaped it using slide," Arnett said. "I learned how to prevent fire and how to be safe when the incident happens. Now I know what to do when there is fire. It was also a lot of fun."

This year's observance was more special with guests from the local elementary school. About 10 students from Namjung elementary school were invited to the event and had opportunities to learn and interact with foreigners.

On the 11th, Military Police team and firemen from Yongsan Fire Station conducted a vehicle extrication. It was to arouse hundreds of students' attention to the calamity of car accidents and to show what gets done when it happens.

Barbs Page, 4th grade teacher at Seoul American Elementary School, shared her feelings of appreciation toward all staff members' efforts and garrison's supports to teach children about disaster.

"I think this is a great idea to let kids learn about fire prevention," Page said. "Kids love it. Every year, the kids look forward to it. It helps them because it emphasizes how to be safe at home. Moreover, kids learn it better this way because they get it from actual firemen, so it seems to be more important and more authority than when the teachers teach them."

Page last updated Sun October 14th, 2012 at 23:31