By Kaytrina Curtis, Hunter Army Airfield Public AffairsOctober 10, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- Tiny heads peaked through windows, children waved from balconies and pajama-clad parents stood on lawns as the Hunter Army Airfield Fire Department held its open house and first-ever parade throughout housing areas on post Saturday, in recognition of Fire Prevention Week.
New Gannem and Wilson Acres residents were treated to the loud alarms of fire engines, and ambulances when firefighters and emergency services personnel drove their vehicles throughout the neighborhoods.
Although neighbors seemed surprised by the alarms, the main attraction seemed to be Sparky the fire dog, who handed out candy to parade watchers along the designated route.
One of the main pieces of equipment on display in the parade was the Crash Response Unit, which is used to respond to fires or crashes of aircraft on Hunter's airfield.
The primary purpose of the unit is to get the pilot, co-pilot and passengers to safety as quickly as possible.
"We lay down buckets of foam to provide a rescue path from the fire," said Hunter Army Airfield firefighter Rodney Todd. "We put out the fire, suppress the flames and push everything back so that we can rescue those on-board."
After the parade, those interested had the opportunity to receive refreshments and tour the fire house to get a closer look at the gear and equipment used to extinguish fires.
Jeff Spencer, safety and hazardous materials inspector for Hunter, said he and his wife, Sara, brought their home-schooled children to the event to learn about fire safety.
"It's a great training experience," said Spencer, talking about fire extinguisher classes offered by Hunter Fire Department. "It's one thing to show someone a fire extinguisher, then its another thing to put them in front of a real fire."