PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 20, 2022) — When Sharon Hill heard about the open house at the Presidio of Monterey Fire Department on Oct. 15, she immediately knew she had to take her grandson Cairo Katlin, 3. He plans to be a firefighter for Halloween this year.
“We couldn’t pass this up because he’s so excited about it,” said Hill. “That’s why we came over. It was wonderful.”
Not only did Hill receive several fire-prevention items from Fire Prevention Inspector Wilfredo Sepulveda, but Cairo also got to sit inside two fire trucks, use a real fire hose with water and meet some firefighters. In addition to many families and others interested in fire safety, Col. Sam Kline, garrison commander, his wife Heather, and Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Traylor also attended.
Sepulveda, who has worked for the department for 15 years, said the department has held an open house every year during National Fire Prevention Week since he has worked there, and the tradition probably started long before he arrived.
The open houses are important so community members can not only learn about fire prevention, but meet firefighters under happy, non-stressful conditions, Sepulveda said.
This year the open house marked the end of National Fire Prevention Week and capped several other community events that included fire extinguisher training, public education, and Sparky the fire dog appearances.
Sepulveda said people can stop by the station or call to set up a tour any time. “This station is for them,” he said. “This is not private; this is public, and this is for the people that we serve.”
While fire safety has many components, Sepulveda said he emphasizes a few fire-prevention tips. They include learning how to use a fire extinguisher with the “PASS”—pull (the pin), aim, squeeze and sweep—method; making sure smoke detectors are not more than 10 years old and have fresh batteries once a year; and properly using extension cords and power strips.
To learn about extension cord safety, visit https://nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Publications-and-media/Blogs-Landing-Page/Safety-Source/Blog-Posts/2020/15/always-say-never-practice-fire-safety-with-extension-cords.
To learn about power strip safety, visit https://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/publications-and-media/blogs-landing-page/nfpa-today/blog-posts/2018/04/20/nfpa-1-electrical-fire-safety-and-relocatable-power-taps-power-strips-firecodefridays.
To learn about the importance of smoke detectors, visit https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Smoke-alarms.
To learn about fire prevention in general, visit the National Fire Protection Association website at https://www.nfpa.org/Events/Events/Fire-Prevention-Week/Safety-Tip-Sheets Also visit the CALFIRE website for wildfire information at https://osfm.fire.ca.gov/divisions/community-wildfire-preparedness-and-mitigation/wildfire-preparedness
The PoM Fire Department is available for fire extinguisher training and other public education talks. To set up an appointment, or to visit the station, call (831) 242-7701 or (831) 242-7702.