Fire Wardens spread safety at Al Asad

16 Feb 2007 | Cpl. Zachary Dyer

To increase fire safety throughout Al Asad, the Al Asad Fire Department enlisted the help of service members from units all over the base.

It is the responsibility of these service members, known as fire wardens, to ensure that their units are working and living in a safe environment while deployed here.

The fire wardens met, Feb. 16, for their first of multiple training sessions since 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) took control of Al Asad.

During the meeting, the fire wardens learned what their responsibilities were and several safety concerns they should be aware of, according to John M. Ruth, a tactical safety specialist with the 2nd MAW(Fwd) Department of Operational Safety and Standardization.

“A fire warden’s responsibilities include inspecting fire extinguishers, developing fire plans, conducting fire drills, checking exit signs and training the other people in their units,” said Ruth.

The fire wardens also learned how to inspect and properly use fire extinguishers by putting out a small fire.

The fire wardens, who are mostly unit safety officers, are also supposed to incorporate the fire warden program into their own safety program, according to Brad S. McKenzie, the Al Asad Fire Department Captain and instructor at the fire warden training sessions.

“They are the ones that are going to go through and make sure their crews aren’t daisy chaining (electronics),” said McKenzie. “That they know where fire extinguishers are, that they are in the right place, and that they are full.”

The fire warden program is important because it will enhance the effectiveness of the base fire safety program, according to Ruth.

“The purpose is to compliment the installation’s fire safety program at the unit level,” said Ruth. “I call it MBWA, or management by walking around. Their presence and them supporting fire safety will make a difference.”

Ultimately, safety is something that is everybody’s responsibility, according to Ruth.

“Though we are training fire wardens, each individual Marine needs to be their own fire warden,” said Ruth. “This is done by good housekeeping; unplugging electrical devices, removal of flammables, knowing where the exits are, and how to call someone in case of an emergency. I need everyone to be their own safety person.”

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