By Steven Hoover
USAG Humphreys Public Affairs Office
CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – In preparation for Fire Prevention Week, set for Oct. 3 to 9, the garrison command team participated in a 2021 FPW Proclamation signing Sept. 30, at the fire department training area here.
The theme for this year’s observance is, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in home fires in half, according to the National Fire Protection Association. They alert residents immediately upon detecting smoke, which has proven to be a crucial benefit in fire emergencies that, on average, give home residents only a matter of two to three minutes to escape safely.
To open the event, garrison commander Col. Seth C. Graves told the assembled firefighters that he had “great respect for what they do and that observances like this were important to provide reminders to the community they serve.”
“I can’t express enough how grateful l am for what our firefighters and first responders do for the installation with regards to keeping us safe and preserving readiness,” added Graves. “Fire Prevention Week is an important reminder that we can’t become complacent when it comes to fire safety…it’s not a once a year event…we need to practice it routinely, everything from ensuring our smoke alarms are operable to not leaving cooktops unattended.”
The proclamation encourages the Humphreys community to put the theme “into practice, not just during Fire Prevention Week, but year round and support the many public safety activities and efforts of the USAG Humphreys DES Fire and Emergency Services,” he said.
Following the signing, Graves and Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin C. Lemon, the garrison senior enlisted advisor, donned firefighter gear in preparation for entrance into the fire simulator.
“Being able to participate in the firefighting simulation training gave me even more of an appreciation for what these heroic first responders do to save lives in the midst of blazing chaos,” said Lemon. “However, almost all fire-related accidents are preventable. It is everyone’s responsibility to follow all safety guidelines to prevent these incidents.”
After the quick run through the simulator, putting out each of the fires, the command team received a tour of the department’s incident command vehicle.
Sparky the Fire Dog joined the command team at the event. Also in attendance, for the first time in a while, were some Asan City firefighters. Before COVID, they regularly participated in training events with the Humphreys firefighters.
“This was a great opportunity for us to combine time with the command team with an important observance,” said Gil Lozano, the Humphreys fire chief. “It’s important to learn the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. When an alarm makes noise – a beeping sound or a chirping sound – you must take action. Make sure everyone in the home understands the sounds of the alarms and knows how to respond.”
In support of the 2021 FPW theme, the fire department also offers the following tips about smoke alarms and the sounds they make:
• A continuous set of three loud beeps means smoke or fire: evacuate, call 9-1-1 and stay out of the building
• A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be changed
• Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the alarm is at the end of its life and the unit must be replaced
• All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years
• Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms meet the needs of all family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities
Humphreys community members are encouraged to check out www.nfpa.org/fpw for additional fire prevention awareness and preparation information. The site includes safety tip sheets for display, video public service announcements, lesson plans for learning about fire safety, and games and downloadable apps.
The Humphreys Fire Department has scheduled a series of FPW events to promote awareness and education:
Oct. 4 and 5: Sparky at the Gate (gates will vary): 0800-TBD; Humphreys West Elementary School: 0800-COB (Bouncy House, Fire Truck Static Display, Fire Safety Trailer, Sparky); also Sparky will be visiting public assemblies and food courts (Bldgs. 5700, 5711, 2270, 12388) and FMWR establishments (Bldgs. 110, 112, 400, 1431, 1432, 6803, 12385).
Oct. 6 and 7: Sparky at the Gate (gates will vary): 0800-TBD; Humphreys Central Elementary School: 0800-COB (Bouncy House, Fire Truck Static Display, Fire Safety Trailer, Sparky); Sparky visits AFH Towers (Bldgs. 510, 511, 512, 5101, 5102, 5103, 5171, 5172, and 5173).
Oct. 7: Sparky will visit Child Development Centers (Bldgs. 5230 and 5410)
Oct 8: Sparky at Gate (gates will vary): 0800-TBD; Humphreys Downtown Plaza: 0900-1500 (Bouncy House, Fire Truck Static Display, Fire Safety Trailer, Fire safety training for FMWR employees, and Sparky).