By Dawn M Arden (Leonard Wood)October 12, 2017
Fire Prevention Week is getting ready to come to an end for another year, but the Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department continues to educate the community year-round with their Fire Safety Trailer.
The Fire Safety Trailer uses realistic scenarios to teach both young and old how to react to fire and weather emergencies in the safety of a training environment.
"(Our Fire Safety Trailer helps us) instruct the community on how to respond to various emergencies they might encounter in the home or workplace, from gas leaks to fire," said Kevin Curtis, Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department assistant fire chief. "I have worked in the fire service for 30 years, and in that time I have never seen such a realistic and educational tool for fire prevention and public education."
Darrin Shiplett, Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department fire inspector, said the trailer is not only teaching individuals how to react but it also ties into this year's National Fire Prevention message of "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!"
"The bedroom side of the trailer fits into the message by teaching children the basics of reacting to a fire situation in the home by having two ways out of their bedroom and home."
The trailer's features include kitchen fire, bedroom and severe weather scenarios.
Kitchen Fire Scenario: A portion of the trailer was built to resemble a home kitchen, allowing individuals to gain hands-on experience in how to put out a kitchen fire. This scenario uses heat, smoke, sound effects, digital flames and a fire extinguisher.
Bedroom Scenario: One end of the trailer is designed to resemble a child's bedroom and helps educate both children and parents on how to feel a door for heat, block smoke using a pillow or towel and how to evacuate safely through the window using an escape ladder. Additional features, include a smoking electrical outlet and air conditioning duct to simulate electrical fire hazards, sound, smoke, fire effects, an interactive emergency phone and a smoke detector to help create the emergency setting.
Severe Weather Scenario: The BullEx Severe Weather scenario teaches life-saving steps by incorporating simulated news broadcasts and surround-sound effects for hurricane, earthquake, flood and tornado safety education.
"Everyone who visits the trailer is amazed at how realistic the fire and smoke simulations are. Adults love the fire extinguisher training in the kitchen and the children are learning so much about what to do if they wake up to their smoke detector sounding," Curtis said. "The fact that people in our community can practice feeling a hot door, planning escape routes and learn how to extinguish a fire is great."
The Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department is taking their trailer on the road visiting several schools in area communities throughout the week before bringing it back to the installation's Fire Fest scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Exchange parking lot.
Shiplett encourages parents and children alike to visit the trailer while at Fire Fest.
"Bring your children out and have your younger children go through the bedroom and older children go through the kitchen scenario side to help them get more comfortable about what to do if a similar situation occurs at home," Shiplett said.
For more information on the Fire Safety Trailer or to request it to visit your school or organization, call the Fire Prevention Office at 573.596.0886.