Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Three-Way Partnership Aimed at Fire Preparedness

The American Red Cross has partnered with Lycoming-Clinton Head Start through their STEP Early Learning Pathway and the Williamsport Bureau of Fire to educate residents on the importance of having working smoke detectors and home fire escape plans. This effort is part of the Red Cross’ campaign to reduce the number of fire related injuries and deaths by 25% over a five-year period.

STEP Head Start is committed to helping children and families succeed in school and in life by providing families with the tools needed to maximize their children’s and their own success. As part of this new initiative, Head Start home visitors in Lycoming and Clinton Counties assess the homes they visit to see if there are working smoke detectors. When a home is found to be in need, the home visitor works with the homeowner and the Red Cross to schedule an appointment.

If the home is in Williamsport, Red Cross volunteers and members of the Williamsport Bureau of Fire attend the appointment together. While the fire department installs free smoke detectors in the proper locations, the Red Cross helps the family to create a home fire escape plan. In other communities, Red Cross volunteers handle both the installation and the creation of the escape plan.

“Having working smoke detectors and family escape plans increases your chance of making it to safety should a home fire occur,” noted Red Cross North Central Pennsylvania Chapter Executive Director Tom Szulanczyk. “This partnership with Lycoming-Clinton Head Start and the Williamsport Bureau of Fire will save lives. We are proud to be working together to educate people on the importance of home fire preparedness.”

Pictured Above – Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Steve Leauber and Williamsport Bureau of Fire Inspector Mark Killian address a group of Head Start home visitors during a training held recently in Williamsport.