Sparky goes for a ride
By Lt. Chris Phinney, 120th Airlift Wing Fire Department
/ Published December 01, 2015
GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- Since October 1925 and the presidential proclamation of Fire Prevention Week, members of the fire service have been trying to help educate community members on fire prevention techniques.
The 120th Airlift Wing's Fire Department is making sure that they are doing their part in assisting with this great venture.
Instead of providing safety information just during the Fire Prevention Week, the department plans to provide educational opportunities to the public throughout the year. Their big focus on public education continues to be conducted during the month of October.
While supporting mutual aid requests from other fire departments continues to be an important role, the firefighters have also been able to meet their goals for educating the public on fire safety issues.
Fire department members spent approximately 150 hours taking their favorite fire dog "Sparky" for a ride in a fire truck around Cascade County October 12. They visited nine different elementary schools and were able to teach students the techniques of being fire safe.
The firefighters brought this year's national fire prevention theme "Hear the beep where you sleep," to classrooms and were able to spread the word about the importance of having a fire alarm in every bedroom or outside in a hallway. They delivered this message to approximately 1,000 elementary aged students.
This year the department coordinated their education effort with Malmstrom Air Force Base Fire Department's Assistant Fire Chief of Prevention, Rick Naccarato. This cooperative effort allowed the use of the Fire Prevention trailer known as "Sparky's house" to assist with instructing students on what is fire safe.
While inside the trailer Chief Naccarato explained to students how to properly check for heat, the different dangerous situations that could cause fires, and how to properly escape out a window if needed.
During a visit to the Vaughn Public School students were able to see the 120th Fire Department members in action. The firefighters were called out with Vaughn Volunteer Fire Department to respond to a vehicle rollover. There was a possibility of an extrication needed at the scene of the accident.
When the firefighters arrived on the scene, two members were able to enter the vehicle and safely extricate the victim. They assisted with medical care until the ambulance could transport the victim to Benefis Hospital.
The final event that the members of the department participated in this year was the American Red Cross and United Way "Day of Caring."
Firefighters volunteered to work in teams and placed 250 smoke detectors in over 100 homes throughout the city of Great Falls.
The professionalism and dedication displayed by members of the 120th Fire Department has made our community a safer place to live.