'Stay fire smart! Don't get burned'

Photos and Story by Spc. Lisa A. Cope
13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — In support of fire prevention week, Oct. 4 through Oct. 10, the Joint Base Balad Fire Department is scheduled to host events to promote fire safety.

“Stay fire smart! Don’t get burned,” is the motto for fire prevention week.

Sgt. Joshua E. McGinnis, a fire crew chief with the 23rd Ordnance Company out of Grafenwoehr, Germany, and a Springfield, Mo., native, said many of the fires on JBB are avoidable.

“It is a lot of common sense stuff for fire safety,” said McGinnis.

If fire alarms are old or faulty, service members can bring them to the fire prevention office where they can be swapped out for new ones, he said.

“Check your fire extinguishers and make sure they are up to date,” said McGinnis. “If you need to switch out a fire extinguisher take it down to KBR (Inc.) down on Smith Range Road and swap it out for a brand new one.”

Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Cotner, an engineering assistant for the 332nd expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, said an Iraqi kids day, through the JBB Kids of Iraq program, is scheduled for Oct. 10, from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., during which service members will escort Iraqi kids from local villages on a one-on-one basis to allow them to take part in activities such as fire safety exercises and making paper airplanes.

“Only uniformed military will be escorting a kid, but civilians can volunteer as well, working booths and helping with the set up and take down,” said Cotner, a Portland, Ore., native.

Activities will be at the H-6 Recreation Center where toys, crayons, candy and gift bags will be handed out to the kids as part of the festivities, Cotner said.

During the Iraqi kids day at the JBB Fire Station, the firefighters will demonstrate their equipment, give the children a tour of the facility, give them fire safety tips and let them use some of the equipment said Tech. Sgt. Kevin M. Ferrara, a fire inspector for the 332nd ECES and a Hampton Va., native.

The fire station also scheduled an open house Oct. 4 and fire extinguisher training Oct.5, Oct. 6, and Oct. 8, said Ferrara.

He said overloaded power strips, improper use of extension cords and transformers, bad light ballasts and general electrical issues are the biggest cause of fires on JBB. A lot of dumpster fires are caused by service members smoking near the dumpsters and not extinguishing their cigarettes before they throw them away, said McGinnis.

“Look at your surroundings and make sure everything is fire-safe,” said Ferrara.


  • Sunday, Oct. 4: 1200-1600 – Joint Base Balad Fire Station open house
  • Monday, Oct. 5: 0900-1100 – Fire truck displays at both JBB Army and Air Force Post Exchanges
    • 1300-1500 – H-6 Recreation Center fire extinguisher training
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6: 1600-1800 – Fire extinguisher training at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center East Recreation Center
  • Thursday, Oct. 8: 0900-1100 – Fire extinguisher training at building 7300
  • Saturday, Oct. 10: 0930-1600 – Iraqi kids day at the Joint Base Balad Fire Station

 

 

news photo
Sgt. Joshua E. McGinnis, a fire crew chief with the 23rd Ordnance Company out of Grafenwoehr, Germany, and a Springfield, Mo., native, demonstrates proper donning of his safety gear, Sept. 30 at the Joint Base Balad Fire Department.

news photo
Sgt. Joshua E. McGinnis, a fire crew chief with the 23rd Ordnance Company out of Grafenwoehr, Germany, and a Springfield, Mo., native, demonstrates proper donning of his safety gear, Sept. 30 at the Joint Base Balad Fire Department.