Fire Demo Teaches Safety
Sirens rang, cars were cut apart in a simulated rescue, a helicopter circled and landed, and flames lept from the Kaunakakai Ball Park last Saturday. The Maui County Fire Department held a live demonstration to teach Molokai families how to prevent and react if fires were to occur in their homes.
Seventeen of Molokai’s firefighters put on their first fire prevention demonstration since 2007 as part of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Prevention Week celebrated in October. The week commemorates the 1871 Chicago fire, which killed hundreds and destroyed thousands of buildings.
Since then, national fire prevention has been a primary health concern, and after being observed for more than 80 years, Fire Prevention Week is considered to be the longest running public safety program on record, according to NFPA.
Molokai families sat in the ballpark’s stands Saturday morning to see a helicopter land, a controlled fire extinguished, and how the fire department uses hydraulic saws and tools, also called the Jaws of Life to save car accident victims.
Families also participated in a race to see who can dress in full fire gear the fastest, met Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog, and cooled down under a fire hose spray after the event.
“It’s all about the kids,” said event emcee and Fire Captain Henry Lindo. “I always enjoy working with them.”
Preventing kitchen fires was this year’s theme and community members learned tips and tricks to keep cooking dangers at a minimum.
“Two-fifths of home fires begin in the kitchen and they are the leading cause of fire related injuries,” said Molokai Fire Inspector Rick Schonely at the event.
Several tips he gave included staying in the kitchen at all times while cooking or turning off the stove if you leave, using the backburners if you have small children, wearing tight sleeves and keeping debris away from the range.
The demonstration also taught kids what an emergency means, how to act in case of a fire, as well as how to stop, drop and roll.
“All of our firefighters believe it is an honor and a privilege to serve our community here on Molokai,” said Schonely via email after the event. “We appreciate all the people who came out for the demo, and thank them for practicing fire safety at all times.”
Caption: Kids participated in a race to see who could dress in a firefighter’s full uniform the fastest during the Maui County Fire Department’s fire demo last Saturday. Photo by Laura Pilz