To celebrate Martin Luther King Weekend and Day of Service, teams from all five of the Eastern Pennsylvania Region’s chapters scheduled Home Fire Campaign rallies and installation events in a total of eight locations throughout our region. A goal of 1,000 smoke alarm installations was set for the week of events.
In two Philadelphia events, a total of 79 homes were visited by Red Cross staff members, more than 40 Red Cross volunteers, the Philadelphia Fire Department, and our friends from Red Paw Emergency Relief. Volunteers from HOPEworldwide also took part during the January 16th event, which was coordinated and led by DPS Liz Valdez and newly named DPM David Natale. 172 smoke alarms were installed over the course of the two days.
In Easton, DPS Nina Johnson led a team including more than a dozen Red Cross volunteers from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter, in partnership with the Easton Fire Department, who visited 21 homes and installed a total of 67 smoke alarms.
That same day a team of ten Red Cross volunteers led by DPS Kevin Bone partnered with the Good Will Fire Company to install 95 smoke alarms in 51 homes while providing fire safety education to an additional 17 homes in Pottstown.
In Reading on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day itself, DPS Heather Bowman, DPM Kara Mowbray and their team of 54 volunteers from the Tri-County Chapter partnered with the Reading Fire Department, UGI and students from Kutztown and Alvernia Universities to install 155 smoke alarms in 75 homes and replace 71 batteries in existing smoke alarms.
A bit farther north, DPS Jeff Banks and DPM Gail Toscano along with Senior DPM Rachelle Wood and RDO Leo Pratte headed up Red Cross volunteer teams in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, partnering with fire departments from both of those municipalities. 100 volunteers turned out for the event, including representatives from UGI. The combined efforts of those two groups saw 375 smoke alarms installed in 145 homes.
The final event of the week was unfortunately postponed by the Blizzard of 2016’s unexpected arrival in East Stroudsburg. This installation was rescheduled for February 6. Gail Toscano’s teams installed 140 smoke alarms. Add in 15 follow-up installations in the NEPA chapter that day, and we installed 1,019 smoke alarms in the past three weeks.
Congratulations on reaching our goal of 1,000 installations across the region! We’d like to thank all the staff who worked tirelessly to make these events happen and the 250+ Red Cross volunteers who have helped support our mission of saving lives the past three weeks!