Muster match highlights Fire Prevention Week|
by Rebecca Burylo
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
10/3/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- As many as 20 teams of four will battle Oct. 17 in the Maxwell Fire Department's first-ever fire muster, the final event of National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6-12.
Participants will have to don more than 60 pounds of fire equipment and spray hoses, carry victims to safety and form a bucket brigade, all with a twist.
Obstacles stand in their way and everything is timed.
The week features the theme "Prevent Kitchen Fires" through different events, including the muster, to highlight the importance of kitchen safety and cautious cooking.
The muster, scheduled for Wingman Day from 1:30-3:30 p.m., helps participants to appreciate the first-responder efforts of Maxwell's firefighters and learn fire education, according to Assistant Fire Chief James Smith.
"It's fun to get people from outside the fire department involved," Smith said. "It gives them an appreciation for what we do, especially when they put the gear on and they get a sense of how heavy it is and how difficult it is to move in. This is what we do day in and day out."
Teams will gather behind the Maxwell Fire Department to complete five challenges.
Members must work together during the first challenge, the bucket brigade, to fill a 55-gallon drum with water using leaking buckets, ladders and a house gutter.
Then, teams will rush from cots when an alarm sounds, pulling on fireman boots, pants, jacket, helmet and gloves from a massive pile in order to ring the finish bell.
In the next event, each team must successfully carry two manikins through and around obstacles to the finish line. Then, they must pull, roll out and roll up different sections of hose.
The final challenge will have members connecting two sections of hoses and nozzles in order to blast a fire cone down.
In case of a tie, whoever is able to move a suspended ball farther during the hose joust will determine a winner.
To register a team for the muster, call 953-7449.
Other events scheduled for fire prevention week will be fire safety demonstrations, fire department tours, informational displays and a fire truck parade bringing awareness of kitchen safety to the base community.
Smith shares the importance of preventing kitchen hazards during holiday and year-round cooking.
"Cooking fires are actually the number one cause of fires in residential homes," Smith said. "This is the perfect time of the year to stress fire prevention in the kitchen because soon it will be Thanksgiving and, believe it or not, the majority of kitchen fires in the U.S. are during the holidays."