The National Fire Prevention Association has declared the theme of this year’s National Fire Prevention Week to be “Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware — Fire Can Happen Anywhere,” and Fort Leonard Wood firefighters are gearing up to ensure community members become educated on fire prevention and know what to do should they encounter a fire.
Although Fire Prevention Week is officially Oct. 7 through 13, the department has various outreach events planned through Oct. 26.
“This is an incredibly important week,” said Col. Eric Towns, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, following his signing of the installation’s Fire Prevention Week Proclamation Sept. 12 at Fire Station No. 1.
Towns added, “Here on Fort Leonard Wood, the safety of our residents, our employees and our trainees is paramount, and one of the ways we ensure that we keep them safe is through conducting observances like Fire Prevention Week, which is meant to educate our residents and employees on how to keep themselves safe and measures to take if they find themselves in an extraordinary circumstance of having a fire in their home.”
Bradley Bowling, Fort Leonard Wood fire chief, said the department has a “very extensive” calendar of events planned for the community.
Events include visits to Richland Elementary School Oct. 2 and Laquey Elementary School Oct. 4. During National Fire Prevention Week, firefighters will be visiting the four elementary schools located on the installation (Partridge, Thayer, Williams and Wood). At all elementary schools, the department will conduct Fire Prevention Programs specially designed for grades kindergarten through fifth.
Fort Leonard Wood’s Fire Prevention Week activities culminate Oct. 13 at the main Exchange parking lot with Fire Fest.
“It’s a large event,” Bowling said. “We’ll have a band out there; we’ll have trucks on display, food, games — it was a really good event last year.”
Following Fire Prevention Week will be Story Time at the Bruce C. Clarke Library from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Oct. 16 and from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Oct. 17.
The department will end the month with special puppet shows Oct. 25 at Fort Leonard Wood’s Child Development Center 408 and Oct. 26 at CDC 614.
For more information on these activities or for questions regarding fire prevention, call 573.563.0886.
(Editor’s note: Ryan Thompson contributed to this story.)