“Jaws of Life,” Live Demonstrations to be Featured in Fire Prevention Week

October 14, 2009, 6:00 AM HST · Updated October 14, 6:00 AM
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Members of the Maui Fire Department will demonstrate their “Jaws of Life” technology and other tools of the trade as part of an educational event planned for Fire Prevention Week on Maui.

File Photo by Wendy Osher: Maui Firefighters test tools and equipment for extracting trapped motorists during the November Fire Chief's Convention in Kapalua, Maui.

File Photo by Wendy Osher: Maui Firefighters test tools and equipment for extracting trapped motorists during the November Fire Chief's Convention in Kapalua, Maui.

The Fire Prevention Bureau of the County of Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety planned the activities as part of Fire Prevention Week 2009.  The activities are being held in conjunction with the national observance held October 4 – 10, 2009.  This year’s theme: “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned,” focuses on preventing burn injuries.

The Fire Prevention Week demonstrations will highlight the skills and abilities of the men and women of the Maui Fire Department. The tools and equipment used by fire personnel will be displayed, followed by demonstrations of fire fighters rappelling, cutting into vehicles using the “Jaws of Life,” and putting out fires. Air-1, the helicopter used by the Fire Department will fly in for a visit, and Sparky Dog and Smokey Bear will make appearances. Last year’s demonstration was attended by over 600 children and their teachers and parents.

This year, there will be two shows on Maui:

  • Wednesday, October 14, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Horseshoe Pit field in Keopuolani Park, Wailuku Thursday, Oct. 22, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Lahaina Recreation field by the Lahaina Aquatics Center
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The demonstrations are free, and are open to the public. Schools are encouraged to attend; RSVPs are requested.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares presented a proclamation earlier this week at the Kahului Fire Station in anticipation of Fire Prevention Week, and encouraged families to take the safety messages to heart.

“Fire is a serious public safety concern, and the County’s first responders are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of fires through prevention and education,” said Mayor Tavares. “Since homes are the locations where people are at greatest risk of burn injuries, adults and children who have learned fire safety tips and practiced a home fire escape plan are more likely to prevent injuries and survive a fire. While this year’s theme highlights actions we can take to stay safe, these precautions need to be practiced year-’round.”

Other important safety tips include:

  • Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.
  • Have a 3-foot “Kid-Free” zone around the stove.
  • Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.
  • Be careful when using things that get hot such as curling irons, ovens, irons, lamps.
  • Install tamper resistant receptacles to prevent a child from sticking an object in the outlet.
  • Never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle, space heater, lit fireplace or hot appliances.
  • Wear short sleeve or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Set your hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees.
  • Install anti-scald valves on shower heads and faucets.
  • Whether you’re burned by flames, hot scalding water, steam or electricity, burns cause painful skin damage and in the worst cases can be fatal. A burn lasts a lifetime, and severely burnt skin cannot be repaired by plastic surgery.

To RSVP, call Kapono Stupplebeen, Public Education Officer with the County of Maui Fire Prevention Bureau, at ph. 244-9161, ext. 28. For more information, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information provided by the County of Maui & the Maui Fire Prevention Bureau; Photo by Wendy Osher)

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