During my Disney Press Trip we got the chance to visit Van Nuys Tanker Base. The reason for our visit was to learn more about what went into the making of Planes: Fire and Rescue. You see Assistant Fire Chief, Steve Martin played a HUGE part in the research and the accuracy of Planes: Fire and Rescue. We learned soooo much and now I get to share what I learned with you just in time to kick off National Fire Prevention Week.
Planes: Fire and Rescue Research
Upon on arrival we were introduced to Assistant Fire Chief, Steve Martin (pictured above). He explained to us that about 4 years ago when he was the Battalion Chief of air operations. He was approached by Disney about doing some research for the new movie Planes: Fire and Rescue. They came and visited the aircrafts and crews. They took tons of pictures and measurements.
The 2 Super Scoopers that play such a pivotal part in putting out fires here in California and in Planes: Fire and Rescue actually are contracted from Quebec Ontario.
They always come here in September and they generally can go through, depending on when the rains come, middle of November but we’ve had them as long as into January. I think last year we had big fires in January so they were here until February. ~ Assistant Fire Chief, Steve Martin
The Super Scoopers are maned by 2 crews all the time. Each crew works 24 hours on and 24 hours off, rotating during a 30 day period. Then those crews fly back to Quebec and 2 new crews fly in. They are able to scoop water from local bodies of water and fill there 1,600+ gallon tanks in 12 seconds. Check out the video below to see them in action.
They are so important to fighting fires, not only in California but around the world. Because they are able to scoop water they don’t have that wait time of having to land to reload.
When you watch the video of the actual super scoopers and then compare then to Dipper and the other planes in Planes: Fire and Rescue you can see just how the attention to detail and accuracy really shines through.
When it comes to accuracy the Disney Team even wanted to make sure that the expressions and phrases used during firefighting were correct.
“They would send me a script and they highlight, is this the proper word? Is this what terminology you would use? Is this what you– what would you say in this case? And a lot of times they would scratch something out and I’d say no, no we don’t talk like that. That look good. They really wanted it to be accurate.” ~ Assistant Fire Chief, Steve Martin
After learning about the Disney Team’s time out to the Van Nuys Tanker Base, when you watch the movie you really have a new found sense of appreciation. I am in awe of their accomplishment with Planes: Fire and Rescue.
National Fire Prevention Week
Today also marks the kick off National Fire Prevention Week. Do you know why it is always held the second week of October?? It is in memory of the great Chicago Fire of 1871. During our visit to the Van Nuys Tanker Base we all got a chance to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher. I have to be honest I have never used a fire extinguisher before even though my dad was a Fire Fighter and my mom was a Paramedic. One of the most important things we learned is when putting out a fire aim for the bottom of the fire not the top. The bottom is where the fire is coming from where the top is just flames and smoke. You have to put out the source first. I am really grateful for this opportunity because now if I ever need to, and I pray I don’t, I will feel more comfortable grabbing the fire extinguisher and putting a fire out.
During National Fire Prevention Week many Fire Departments and Libraries hold events which will teach you and your family important steps to take to prevent fires and what to do if you should have a fire in your house. Teaching your kids early is key to keeping them safe. Also check your Smoke detectors twice a year. Changing the batteries when you change your clocks in the Fall and Spring are the best times to remember. Make sure each room in your house has one in good working order. Another good thing to have is a fire extinguisher. You can pick one up for less then $20 at most hardware stores or stores like Walmart and Target.
My number 1 tip is to have a Family Escape Plan. Click HERE to print your own. Sit down with your family and plan how to escape from each room if a fire should break out in the house. Always have alternate routes and have a designated safe meet up point outside of the house. Most Importantly: PRACTICE YOUR FAMILY ESCAPE PLAN OFTEN!! This simple step can save your life and that of your family. Don’t forget to include your family pets as well.