Parents and children gather at a corner to wave as Fort Leavenworth Fire and Emergency Services firefighters drive through in firetrucks during the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department's Fire Prevention Week parade Oct. 9 in Santa Fe Village. The parade winded through neighborhoods to thank the community for their support and interest in fire safety. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Charlotte Richter | Staff Writer

Fort Leavenworth Fire and Emergency Services spread the message to “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” with its weeklong Fire Prevention Week campaign Oct. 4-9 to inform the community about basic fire prevention and safety protocols.

The week’s outreach included demonstrations at each of the post’s elementary schools and the Child Development Center, a display at the Post Exchange and culminated with a parade throughout housing Oct. 9.During the school demonstrations, Fort Leavenworth Fire Department firefighters showed children the equipment firefighters use during a fire, talked to them about how to make a plan in the event of an emergency and emphasized the importance of a smoke detector.

FLFD Capt. Robert Dokos said visiting the schools allowed the firefighters to teach in an environment where the students were already open to learning.Assistant Fire Chief Dustin Hensley said the main goal of the demonstrations was to teach students to have a plan in the case of a fire.

Six-year-old Owen and 4-year-old Ty Blackwell wave at firefighters as the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Week parade passes by Iowa Avenue Oct. 9. The brothers watched the parade with their mother and younger brother at three different points along the parade route. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

“The ultimate goal is to educate them, and in their minds, they know exactly what happens when they hear that (smoke detector) sound,” Hensley said.

Firefighters, joined by post leaders and Sparky the Fire Dog, thanked the community for their support as they paraded their trucks throughout housing. Residents — including Kara Blackwell and her sons, 6-year-old Owen, 4-year-old Ty and 2-year-old Jackson — gathered on the sidewalks to watch the firefighters along the parade route.

Blackwell said that even though they live close to the fire station, they followed the trucks around to other neighborhoods throughout the morning. The boys said they liked the colors on the sirens and the look of the trucks.

“(They) are finally at the age where I can teach them about this (fire safety),” Blackwell said.Hensley said that fires on Fort Leavenworth have often occurred in residential settings, including kitchen fires, unattended fires, and electrical fires caused by “daisy-chaining” or wattage issues with an appliance. Additionally, he promoted awareness of carbon monoxide as a hazard. On-post housing is equipped with smoke detectors that also detect carbon monoxide. He also encouraged community members to have a plan to know what to do in case of fire.

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