319th CES fire department celebrates 100 years of fire prevention Published Oct. 18, 2022 By Senior Airman Ashley Richards 319th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The 319th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department observed Fire Prevention Week Oct. 9-15, 2022, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week to help educate more than 1,000 children and families within the local community. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of Oct. 9 to commemorate the “Great Chicago Fire” of 1871 and is used to educate communities on the importance of fire safety. The 2022 Fire Prevention Week’s campaign was, “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.” Members of the fire department worked to educate the community about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires. Throughout the week, the 319th CES fire department hosted several activities from fire truck displays to a fire department open house for military members and their families to highlight this year’s theme. “This year we worked with three local school districts as well as the base’s child development center and youth center,” said Master Sgt. Jared Dudden, the 319th CES assistant chief of operations. “We used our fire safety trailer to practice escape plans and taught the importance of fire safety through engaging hands-on activities.” Fire Prevention Week isn’t only to educate children, but also teenagers, elderly adults and people with disabilities who may need extra assistance to escape in a time of emergency, Dudden said. “Whether you’re 8 years old or 80 years old, it’s important to have a plan that works for your family and home,” Dudden said. “You may have just a few minutes to escape once a fire breaks out in your home. Having a plan in place will prepare you for the unexpected.” Test smoke alarms regularly, develop a home fire escape plan, and create a safe meeting place outside of the home to help prepare yourself and your family in advance for an emergency, Dudden said. To learn more about Fire Prevention Week or fire and home safety, visit firepreventionweek.org.