Fire Prevention Week Firefighter Challenge

Firefighters want adults to know as much as kids do about learning not to burn.  That's why, this Fire Prevention Week the Altus Air Force Base Fire Department has come up with a wacky way to get their attention.  "We decided to do something for the entire base and get the adults involved in fire prevention," said Fire Chief Richard Kennerson.

Friday, they hosted their First Annual Fire Muster Competition.  It's not firefighters competing - it's actually airmen, taking part in five different events.  To get the word out about fire safety, most departments focus on children, but Kennerson says adults are just as important to reach as kids are.  This was a nice way for them to do something a little different.

No one ever said firefighting was easy, and one airman found out the hard way by competing in the "Hot Shots" event.  "We've got 5 events scheduled for 'em. An old school bucket brigade, we got 'em rolling up some, we got 'em pullin' hose off the fire truck and actually knocking down some cones with the water, we got em' carryin' the Rescue Randy dummy for us and then last but not least, we got 'em puttin' on the bunkers," said Altus AFB Fire Inspector Matt Backeberg.

7News Reporter Lindsay Vocht decided to see if she had what it took - and suited up.  "Now you have no idea what goes into putting these suits on and just how hot they are. The suits behind me, the silver ones, they nickname their potato suits, so you can imagine they're just baking in those," she said.

The message they're hoping to get out is that of fire prevention - the theme is to have an escape plan and practice it.  Here are some safety tips:

  • Have an escape plan
  • Be sure you have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
  • Use your head
  • Educate children about the dangers of fire

Fire Inspector Backeberg says a new study shows that children wake up to the sound of their parent's voice faster than a smoke alarm - and there's a way to use that.  New voice smoke alarms are the latest craze - they can be bought online at Signal One.  It makes the Kid Smart Vocal Smoke Alarm letting you record a message specific to your child.