JBER Fire Department promotes Fire Prevention Week, cooking safety Published Oct. 12, 2023 By Airman 1st Class Quatasia Carter 673rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Fire Department teamed up with the National Fire Protection Association to promote safe cooking habits to the children of Ketchikan School Age Center Oct. 10, 2023. “We're meeting with all the children [on JBER] for our annual Fire Prevention Week,” said Nick Hagen, a fire inspector with the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron. “The theme for this year is ‘Cooking safety starts with you.’” According to the NFPA, nearly half of U.S. domestic fires and fire injuries are caused by avoidable cooking mishaps. Through the campaign, the fire prevention team challenged the students’ knowledge on kitchen safety and what if scenarios. “By getting children familiar with fire prevention skills in the kitchen, I want them to not only be able to execute good cooking safety, but also help their parents do the same,” said Hagen. “They could be advocates for their household on how they can better serve their families, ensuring a safe cooking environment.” Students were allowed to handle some fire equipment, test their endurance against a true firefighter, and even challenge Sparky, the 673d CE fire dog mascot, to a race. “The kids enjoy coming out to see us face-to-face and getting up close to our gear,” said Airman 1st Class Riley Purdy, a driver-operator at the 673d CE. “They don't often see female firefighters. I know that was a really big one for the young girls. We’re two of the very few female firefighters at this base, so a lot of them enjoy seeing me and my crew chief geared up. We do bunker drills for the kids, and let them ask questions. I think they really enjoy that.” Along with school visits and child development centers, the week-long Fire Prevention campaign will also involve an open house at JBER Fire Station 4 from 11 a.m.-1:30p.m., Oct. 13, an information booth at the Base Exchange, and a grand finale event held Oct. 14 at the Base Exchange and Commissary parking lot.