Situated close to the center of the Eastern Pennsylvania Region is Schuylkill County, a large footprint of once coal mining towns that still permeate the landscape. Some would call it a very unassuming area, but residents there are proud to call themselves “Skooks.”
Over the years, Schuylkill County has suffered many house fires, from single family homes to large row homes, ignited and brought to the ground. Sadly, fatalities from fires have also occurred throughout this footprint.
As part of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, we have been diligently scheduling smoke alarm installation events in conjunction with preparedness fire safety education throughout the region. This campaign has been the forefront in our fight to reduce these fire deaths and injuries not only in our region, but across the country.
The Red Cross held two smoke alarm installation events previously in Schuylkill County, one in Shenandoah and the other in Pottsville. Typical partnerships include local emergency management, along with the local fire departments and other local organizations that want to participate in the initiative. Prior event partnerships have included United Way during the United Way Day of Caring.
On Monday, June 28th another event was conducted in Pottsville. This impromptu event was set into motion after another fire fatality occurred in Pottsville the previous week. The home where the fire occurred did not have smoke alarms which highlights the importance of this program even more.
During this event, Red Cross partnered with Mountain Home Restoration. 51 smoke alarms were successfully installed throughout the day. More of the community has been educated on the importance of fire escape plans and fire safety information.
Executive Director of the Tri-County Chapter of the American Red Cross Adrian Grieve stated, “Mountain Home Restoration really sees the importance of this program and stepped up to provide financial support. Some of their staff assisted with installs and provided lunch for all who attended. They have also committed to support the next install event in October.”
As a region, we look forward to continuing the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, working through old-fashioned neighbor-to-neighbor outreach. Through this method and with our community partners, we will save lives, reduce injuries, and cut down on needless losses.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer and helping with the program, visit: www.redcross.org/volunteer and find your local chapter.