Fire department teams with American Red Cross to install smoke detectors
The goal is 200. The outcome is saving lives.
That is the thought behind the campaign that will be sweeping through Winamac on Saturday, Jan. 19. Firefighters from the Winamac Volunteer Fire Department are teaming with the American Red Cross to install smoke detectors and talk about fire safety with residents throughout the town.
The initiative, Home Fire Campaign, is sponsored by the American Red Cross to ensure that local homes practice fire safety with the installation of smoke alarms. The American Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014. Since then the American Red Cross, partners and volunteers have canvassed at-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms and provide fire prevention and safety education.
Pulaski County Disaster Action Team Lead and Pulaski County Home Fire Campaign Lead Sherry Fagner said the Winamac firefighters will be helping install the alarms but an invitation has been given to area fire departments that she believes will be represented during the event. Several other agencies and the local churches are joining the campaign.
Kristin Marlow-Kellemen, Northwest Indiana Red Cross Executive Director, said communities get excited about the campaign but the roadblock is when people don’t answer the door during the event.
She said many at-risk communities have residents who are afraid to open the door and let volunteers in because they are afraid that those volunteers might contact the police or other authorities because of the conditions of the house or because undocumented residents are living there.
“We don’t care if they are renters, if they are documented, if there are 16 members of different families living there, that part we have no concern of whatsoever,” Marlow-Kellemen said. “Our concern is let us test your alarms. Let us install new ones. Let us make you safer. There is no other part of their situation that matters for this service. I think that people have a hard time trusting that.”
Volunteers will be hitting the streets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or sooner depending on the number of volunteers.