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Offutt striving to protect your family from fire

Firefighters attack the flames of a simulated aircraft fire during a joint training exercise May 4 at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Firefighters from active-duty, Air Guard and Reserve units participated in the joint training exercise for disaster preparation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Charles Haymond)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Charles Haymond)

Matthew Croteau, firefighter with the 55th Civil Engineering Squadron, clips wires during the Surviving the Fire Ground, Fire Fighter/Fire Officer and Command Preparedness exercise inside building 163 on Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., June 22. Mr. Crouteau was one of 48 firefighters who participated in this training exercise. 

U.S. Air Force Photo by Charles Haymond/Released

(U.S. Air Force photo/Charles Haymond)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE Neb.-- Offutt firefighters extinguish the flames in a simulated aircraft fire trainer during a joint training exercise here May 4. Firefighters from Offutt, Omaha's Eppley Airfield and guard and reserve units participated in the training exercise.

U.S. Air Force Photo by Charles Haymond

(U.S. Air Force photo/Charles Haymond)

Matthew Croteau, firefighter with the 55th Civil Engineering Squadron, squeezes through a wall inside building 163 on Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., during the Surviving the Fire Ground, Fire Fighter/Fire Officer & Command Preparedness exercise June 22. This was an international event and titled Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the International Association of Firefighters. This event strengthens the awareness for proper procedures when getting a down firefighter needs assistance. 

U.S. Air Force Photo by Charles Haymond/Released

(U.S. Air Force photo/Charles Haymond)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- The Offutt Fire Department is once again teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association to help educate the local community about fire prevention for this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, Oct. 9-15.

Fire Prevention Week was inspired by one of the worst fires in America - the Great Chicago fire of October 1871. President Calvin Coolidge declared the first Fire Prevention Week in 1925 as an official national observance.

This year's theme is, "protect your family from fire," and the fire protection flight will host several educational events on the importance of fire prevention.

"We'll be spreading the word that roughly 80 percent of U.S. fire deaths occur in home fires that can easily be prevented," said Santiago Olmeda-Pinero Jr., assistant fire chief. "With the implementation and practice of home escape plans as well as the use of smoke alarms, these deaths can be eliminated."

The Offutt Fire Department, which consists of more than 60 civilian team members, will participate in the Greater Omaha Safety Council Family Day, visit several local schools, host fire station tours and hand out coloring books and other educational items.

"We'll also have a fire safety display set up at the Base Exchange where information on home escape plans in the home, smoke detectors and fire safety will be provided to all customers," Olmeda-Pinero said. "In addition, several static displays will be set up at different locations throughout the base to provide information on fire safety as well."

The week-long event will conclude with the fire department's open house on Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fire fighters will open their facility for tours and offer food and beverages, bouncing house, clowns, face painting and various fire safety activities.

"Fred the Fireman, Sparky the Firedog, Patches and Pumper and Pluggie the Fire Hydrant will all make special appearances at the fire station," Olmeda-Pinero said.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week events this week at Offutt, click here. To find out more about the national program, please visit NFPA's website at www.firepreventionweek.org.