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Robert Kometshcer instructs a teacher as she practices using a tourniquet on a paramedic at Bolden Elementary School on Laurel Bay, Oct. 9. In observance of National Fire Prevention Week, the MCAS Beaufort Fire and Emergency Services visited Laurel Bay Schools. Later that day, they taught teachers how to utilize a trauma medical kit. Kometscher is paramedic with MCAS Beaufort Fire and Emergency Services.

Photo by Cpl. Terry Haynes III

MCAS Beaufort EMS teaches safety

11 Oct 2018 | Cpl. Terry Haynes III Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Fire and Emergency Services hosted safety events at Charles F. Bolden and Elliott Elementary Schools on Laurel Bay, Oct. 9.

 The event at Elliott was held to educate the students about fire safety as well as fire prevention techniques in recognition of "National Fire Prevention Week." Established by President Calvin Coolidge in 1922, each year the week has a different theme with this year’s being "Look, Listen and Learn." Students learned skills ranging from proper kitchen safety procedures to proper evacuation routes in case of a house fire.

"Events like this are important for school-aged children," said Joseph Otterbine, the lead fire inspector for MCAS Beaufort and Laurel Bay. "It’s crucial that we instill proper safety procedures at a young age because these types of accidents can happen anywhere at any time."

After the assembly, MCAS Beaufort fire fighters gave stu

dents a tour of a fire truck and the gear they use to extinguish fires aboard the air station and in the local community. As National Fire Prevention Week continues MCAS Beaufort fire will have another fire safety event scheduled for Bolden elementary on the 11th as well. 

"This is one of my favorite parts of my job," said Capt. Bobby Clark, a firefighter with MCAS Beaufort. "Seeing all the kids’ faces light up and just take it all in makes the job so much more rewarding. It’s great that along with all the bells and whistles that the kids are gaining valuable knowledge at the same time."

Later in the afternoon, teachers and faculty at Bolden elementary had the chance to get acquainted with the Jacob Kit and practice other lifesaving procedures on MCAS Beaufort first responders as well as themselves. The Jacob kit is a small trauma kit created by the Burton Fire District that contains a tourniquet, chest seals, bandages, and medical gloves. The kit was named after a student who was wounded during a school shooting and initially survived but died three days later due to massive blood loss.

"Time is the most important factor when it comes to any traumatic injury," said Robert Kometscher, a paramedic with MCAS Beaufort EMS. "Each second is precious and can be the difference between life and death. This training benefits the staff at the school but it also allows them to be ready in case of emergency while traveling or at home."

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