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Smoke Alarm Installation

Written by David Haas

A priority for the Red Cross is reducing fire deaths in Eastern Pennsylvania. On Wednesday June 6th, Red Cross volunteers participated in a neighborhood safety walk-through with the Philadelphia Fire Department’s Fire Protection Division and the Fire Department Explorers (the Fire Explorers is a program for teens and young adults interested in fire science, emergency medical services (EMS), disaster relief, emergency management, and military-related training).

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During the three-hour event, Red Cross volunteers installed smoke alarms and discussed fire safety with residents of the North Philadelphia neighborhood around Bustleton Ave. & Van Kirk St. where a fire death recently occurred. The Red Cross participates in fatal fire walkthroughs along side the Philadelphia Fire Department to promote fire safety and install smoke alarms in at-risk communities.

Concerned residents warmly welcomed the volunteers, who explained that fires are a major issue in aging homes around Philadelphia.  The most important thing someone can do to prevent fire is to install a smoke alarm. The second most important thing is to have an emergency escape plan.  In almost every house visited, non-working and outdated detectors were found and replaced.

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The Fire Department supplied smoke alarms while the Red Cross supplied drills and step ladders. Members of the Red Cross Spiritual Care team provided assistance to residents who needed support. WCAU Channel 10, the local NBC affiliate, recorded the event for coverage on its TV news program and online. Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel was on hand to thank the program participants.

You can check www.SoundTheAlarm.org/EasternPA to learn more, or access Volunteer Connection to sign up for an upcoming event.  Disaster Action Team members are alerted to Fire Walkthrough in coordination with the Fire Department.

Written by David Haas

 

In a typical year, home fires kill more people than all other natural disasters combined in the United States. The Red Cross has set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25% through the Home Fire Campaign. Each spring during the last weekend of April and first two weeks of May, Red Cross hosts the National Signature Event – Sound the Alarm. The 2018 Sound the Alarm campaign promotes fire safety and seeks to install 100,000 fire alarms in at-risk communities nationwide.

STA event Philly

The Red Cross of Eastern PA held a large event Friday, May 4th in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia. Helping to kick off the morning’s event were a wide range of senior leaders of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania safety community.  Dan Bradley, the Director of Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management highlighted the importance of our involvement in Sound the Alarm by stating that “Fires are the #1 most frequent hazard occurring across the city, and the most important thing someone can do to prevent fire is to install a smoke alarm; the second most important thing is to have an emergency escape plan.”

Approximately 150 volunteers and partners from Wawa, PECO, FEMA, Boston Consulting Group, Philadelphia Fire Department, Duke Realty, CapTech Ventures, Temple University and Philadelphia Soul fanned out across the Port Richmond neighborhood for five hours installing smoke detectors and educating residents on fire safety. Through the volunteers’ hard work, 125 homes were made safer and 267 smoke alarms were installed free of charge.

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Volunteers received a warm welcome from the community and several instances of non-working and outdated detectors were found and replaced.  Said Interim Red Cross CEO Angela A. Broome Powley: “You never know which smoke alarm installed today will save a life tomorrow.”  To date, over 400 lives have been saved through the Home Fire Campaign.

Philly STA event

From left, Boston Consulting Group David Webb, Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania Interim CEO Angela A. Broome Powley, Director of Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management Dan Bradley, Pennsylvania Acting State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego, FEMA Region 3 Administrator MaryAnn Tierney and Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel

Go to www.SoundTheAlarm.org/EasternPA to learn more, or access Volunteer Connection to sign up for an upcoming event.

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“I request that during that month (March) our people rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross.”–President Franklin D. Roosevelt, first Presidential Proclamation of March as Red Cross Month, 1943

Each year the president of the United States proclaims March “Red Cross Month.” The Red Cross uses this opportunity to thank our supporters, increase public awareness and consideration of Red Cross’ mission and drive contributions.

The City of Philadelphia kicked off the month by flying Red Cross flags around City Hall. They were a beautiful site to see.

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While four back to back nor’easters were an unplanned surprise for March is Red Cross Month, the staff and volunteer of Red Cross Eastern PA were prepared.   We opened and supported more than half a dozen shelters and warming centers for more than 700 people affected by winter weather.

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Even with the bad weather and shelter openings, our volunteers continued to respond to the Red Cross’ most common emergency, home fires. Red Cross of Eastern PA volunteers responded to more than 100 emergencies and home fires during the month of March, assisting more than 450 people. We worked with the Philadelphia Fire Department to install smoke alarms and talk fire safety at three different neighborhoods where fatal fires occurred.

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Daylight Saving Time began and people lost an hour of sleep by turning the clocks forward. The Red Cross encouraged people to “Turn and Test” – Turn the clocks and test your smoke alarm.

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The Harlem Globetrotters named the Red Cross their “official charity” and we had the opportunity to raise funds and engage our volunteers at nearly 300 performances across the country. Our volunteers “passed the bucket” to collect donations from those attending games in Reading, Allentown, Philadelphia, and Wilkes-Barre.

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The Lehigh Valley-Bucks chapter gave a sneak peak of the upcoming 2018 Cabaret and Cuisine: Back to the 80s. Doc Brown even showed up to encourage people to attend the event held Friday April 20th at Olympus Headquarters in Center Valley.

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The Northeast chapter honored 19 local heroes at the NEPA Heroes celebration. The evening celebrated the prior year’s local heroes for using their First Aid, CPR, AED training and/or other actions to save lives or make Northeastern PA a better place to live and work.

Heroes NEPA

The Southeastern chapter hosted Philadelphia’s premier party and best black-tie charity gala, Red Ball. The evening was a big success with more than eleven hundred guests enjoying live entertainment, delicious delight from more than two dozen restaurants, a silent auction and much more at Lincoln Financial Field.

Red Ball

Red Cross Month wrapped up with Giving Day on March 28th. The Red Cross geared up for the big day, asking people to #help1family. Thousands responded and more than two million dollars was raised to help 28,000 families with urgent relief like food, shelter, and other essentials.

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It certainly was a busy month and that’s how we know we are fulfilling the mission of the Red Cross.

Across U.S., Red Cross Responds to Nearly 60% More Home Fires in First Days of 2018 Than in 2017

As part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, Red Cross Eastern PA will install free smoke alarms over the upcoming Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service weekend and on Monday.

  • SEPA: Saturday, January 13th in Philadelphia from 9a – 2 p.
    • Boys Latin Charter MS – 344 N. Felton Street (near 63rd & Callowhill) and St. Matthews AME Church, 215 N. 57th Street (57th & Race)
  • Tri-County: Saturday, January 13th in Ashland, Schuylkill County from 9:30a – 3p.
    • American Hose Company 639 Walnut Street, Ashland, PA 17921
  • NEPA: Monday, January 15th in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County from 9a – 2p
    • Hollenback Fire Station 1020 North Washington Street Wilkes Barre, PA 18705
  • NEPA: Monday, January 15th in Carbondale, Lackawanna County from 9a – 2p.
    • Carbondale Fire Bureau 8 6th Avenue Carbondale, PA 18407
  • SEPA: Monday, January 15th in Norristown, Montgomery County from 9a – 2p.
    • Montgomery Hose Company is 201 W Freedley St, Norristown, PA 19401.
  • Tri-County: Monday, January 15th in Reading, Berks County from 9:30a – 3p.
    • Tri-County Chapter 701 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA  19601

Highmark

HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVES 332 LIVES The Red Cross responds to as many as 64,000 disasters every year and most of these are home fires. Sadly, seven times a day someone in this country dies in a home fire.

To combat these statistics, the Red Cross launched its Home Fire Campaign in 2014, focusing on installing free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires and teaching people about fire safety. Since the start of the campaign, the Red Cross and partners have installed more than 1 million smoke alarms and helped to save 332 lives.

The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. If someone would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.

Red Cross volunteers across the country have already responded to 3,150 home fires in the first nine days of the year, compared to 2,003 fires in 2017. Some of this may be attributed to the recent string of dangerously cold days, as colder temperatures are often linked to a rise in home fires. Heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months, according to the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration.

After a home fire, a Red Cross volunteer is often among the first on the scene – offering emotional support, helping those affected to find a place to stay and assisting with recovery. As of January 9, the Red Cross has already opened 4,400 cases to help a total of 12,500 people get back on their feet after home fires in 2018.

 

-Monica Cryan