PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The Hawaii Federal Fire Department kicked off the 2004 Fire Prevention Week Oct. 5 at Pearl Harbor Elementary School.
The national campaign was established in order to educate people on fire awareness and prevention.
"As a prevention division of the Federal Fire Department, we get to put on presentations in order to prevent fires," said Bernie Kahale, Hawaii Federal Fire Department prevention chief.
"The campaign is meant for everyone, but we mainly target the kids," Kahale explained. "That's important, because by going out to different schools, the kids get to meet the firefighters and paramedics. So if the need should arise and these kids need to call an ambulance or the fire department, they won't be as scared."
The Federal Fire Department set up several demonstrations, including a simulated fire exercise and static displays, as well as fire trucks and ambulances.
Commanding Officer, Naval Station Pearl Harbor Capt. Ronald R. Cox was keynote speaker for the event and noted the fire department's most important resources are its personnel.
"The fire chief asked me if I would come out and say a few words," Cox told the students. "I asked him if they were going to have fire trucks and demonstrations. Then I said, 'You bet I'll be out there!' Those things are great, but more important are the men and women you see standing beside them," said Cox. "They are the ones that make the fire department what it is."
Many of the students on hand for the event learned the importance of fire prevention.
"I learned that you should always think about fire safety," said one Pearl City Elementary fifth grader. "I also learned to always check your fire alarm, because if you don't have a fire alarm, you could get hurt by a fire if you were sleeping or not paying attention."
The history of National Fire Prevention Week has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred Oct. 9, 1871. This tragic fire killed more than 300 people, left 100,000 homeless and destroyed more than 17,000 structures.
To find out more on Fire Prevention Week, contact fire inspector Victor Flint at 808-474-7785.
For related news, visit the Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cnrh.