Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8th 1871, but did most of its damage October 9th, and ended with over 250 losing their lives and 100,000 losing their homes.
Last week I visited the Van Nuys Tanker Base at Van Nuys Airport in California, where I learned about fire, the planes that fight fires, and safety steps in case of fire all in anticipation of Fire Prevention Week.
First, Firefighter Pete Martínez gave us a Fire Extinguisher Safety Demonstration. I'd never used an extinguisher in my life and it was a great learning experience. Here I got some of my classmates on video:
We also saw some impressive aircraft. Pilots from Canada, Simon-Pierre Robitaille and Jean-Michel Dubé, taught us about different fire fighting aircraft:
Like the Fire Hawk, which can scoop 1,000 gallons of water and lift off again in just 45 seconds…
And the Crane which has a 2,600 gallons capacity, and…
the Super Scooper, which can scoop 1,500 gallons of water in just 12 seconds.
Can you believe it scoops that much water with just these two small openings plus two others like it on the other side?
The new Disney movie, Planes: Fire and Rescue, is a great way to have fun and even start a conversation with kids about fire safety. Have you seen it? I really enjoyed it and my boys did, too.
In it, Dusty learns to be a firefighter. The folks at Disney wanted the film to be technically accurate and the dialogue to sound authentic.
While we were at the Van Nuys Tanker Base, Assistant Chief Steve Martin, described his experiences collaborating with Disney as a technical adviser on the film:
Here is a comparison of the real planes with Windlifter, Dipper and Blade Ranger from Planes: Fire and Rescue, available on video November 4th, 2014.
Finally, I would like to show you a video about “super scoopers” in real life, it's really interesting and amazing!
Lastly, fires can start anytime and almost anywhere, so it's good to be prepared and have a plan. Here are a few links with specific information:
- If you want to know more about this week, please visit the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) here.
- Learn important fast facts about fire right here.
- The County of Los Angeles has an emergency survival guide that has a lot of resources and important information. The beginning of the guide shows info about Los Angeles County, but you can go directly to page 12 where it explains how to create an emergency plan, and page 36, where they list 10 essential emergency supplies, as well as food supplies to keep on hand, and the contents of a first aid kit.
Be safe out there!