Putting out fires: USAG Stuttgart children learn about fire safety

U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart firefighters were very busy the week of Oct. 4-9, but it wasn’t because of fires in the community.

They were teaching community youngsters, in kindergarten through third grade, about fire prevention during the annual Fire Prevention Week.

“So far this week, we’ve visited every elementary school, high school and child care center to discuss and demonstrate fire safety,” said Leonard Fagan, USAG Stuttgart Department of Emergency Services assistant fire chief.  

The firefighters brought their fire trucks to each facility to give children a chance to sit in the driver’s seat and explore the vehicle.

Children were also able to see a firefighter dressed in full gear and a face mask, so they could become familiar with what a potential rescuer would look like during a fire, according to Daniel Reifschnieder, DES fire inspector. 

At the end of the week, the DES fire crew hosted an exhibition at the Panzer Mall that allowed children to put out a contained fire using a fire extinguisher.

However, the most important lesson the firefighters taught was to talk about fire safety at home, said Maj. George Self, USAG Stuttgart director of emergency services.

“If, at the end of this week, if every family took four to five minutes at their dinner table to discuss fire safety, this week would have been a success and we would all be a lot safer,” he said. “Each family should discuss their family escape plan.”

Editor’s Note: Col. Joseph Mancy, Special to The Citizen, contributed to this article.