Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
Department personnel disseminate fire safety information to the Fort
McCoy community in a variety of ways, such as safety meetings, fire
extinguisher classes, on-site inspections and by the newest team
members Patches the Fire Dog and his trusty fire engine, Pumper.
Curt Ladwig of the Fort McCoy
Fire Department helps Patches the Fire Dog, and Pumper, the fire
engine, read to children at Child Youth & School Services. (Photo
by Rob Schuette)
remote controlled robot and mock fire engine equipment, which is
supported by fire department personnel providing voice and movement,
proved to be a hit with children from the Fort McCoy Child Development
Center (CDC) in early April.
event was held in conjunction with the Child Youth and School Services
Month of the Military Child and Child Abuse Prevention Month
dog read the story "If You Gave a Mouse a Cookie" to several
groups of children from the CDC. Children paid extra close attention
to Patches, who was assisted by Fort McCoy Fire Inspector Curt Ladwig.
and Pumper were a hit when we had them at our Christmas party for the
children," Ladwig said. "The dog patterns his language after
a real-life firefighter."
the assistance of his human friends from the Fire Department, Patches
also is very knowledgeable about fire-safety matters.
Curt Ladwig of the Fort McCoy Fire Department assists Patches and Pumper, a remote controlled robot and fire engine mockup, in reading a story to children from the Child Development Center April 1 in building 1751 as part of Month of the Military Child activities.
(Photo by Rob
(An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)
animated visual effects of turning his head, blinking his eyes,
running the siren and flashing emergency light on the fire engine, and
ability to deliver a water spray also help re-enforce his fire-safety
messages and connect with audiences of all ages.
can talk about fire safety steps to take in the home," Ladwig
said. "He also can talk about fire safety in the workplace."
fire safety often is a matter of having an escape plan — with two or
more escape routes — and knowing and preparing what to do in case of
a fire, Ladwig said.
can include such things as knowing how to use fire extinguishers and
how to check electrical equipment and sources for any hazards.
steps to prevent fires and eliminate potential hazards also is
important, Ladwig said. Smoke detectors should be used; batteries
checked regularly and replaced on at least a yearly basis.
important part of fire safety is to practice escape procedures so
everyone in the family knows what to do in case of a fire and where to
meet after they have evacuated a building, he said.
and Pumper will play a VIP role in getting the fire safety message out
to the work force. Ladwig said Patches is very personable and can
tailor his message to any group that might be interested in hearing
him speak … er talk.
is scheduled to make public appearances at Fort McCoy’s Health and
Wellness Fair May 13 and at Armed Forces Day Open House May 16 to
spread more information about fire safety. For more information about
scheduling a visit/presentation about fire safety from Patches and
Pumper and/or Fire Department safety personnel, call the Fire
Department at 608-388-4077.
safety information, as well as general safety information for the Fort
McCoy work force, also is available by calling the Installation Safety
Office at 608-388-3403 or visiting the Safety Section on the McCoy
Extranet, which is accessible from the public Web site