Thursday, April 21, 2016

Home Fire Prevention Comes to Lancaster

Close to 200 American Red Cross and community volunteers joined forces with the Lancaster Fire Department to install over 500 free smoke detectors in nearly 200 homes and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during a special event held in Lancaster City on Thursday, April 21, 2016.

Jeri Sims, Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region CEO, started the event by welcoming the volunteers and reminding them how important their service was to the community.

“What you do here today has the potential of saving a life,” stated Sims. “Since The American Red Cross started our Home Fire Preparedness Program close to two years ago, we have been able to document nearly 80 lives saved throughout the country due to efforts such as this. On behalf of the people we serve, I say thank you.”

Angela Leopold, American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Board Chair, reinforcing what Sims had said, added, “Seven times each day someone dies in a home fire. Working smoke detectors can increase your chance of escaping safely by over 50%, yet so many homes in our community do not have them.”

Leopold then took a moment to thank all of the program’s corporate sponsors before accepting a $20,000 donation check from PPL in support of the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Program. Presenting the check on behalf of PPL was Jess Long, PPL Regional Affairs Director.

“We are so grateful for the support of our financial sponsors – UGI, PPL, Isaac’s, the Anne & Philip Glatfelter Family Foundation, Highmark Blue Shield, Capital Blue Cross, and Millers Mutual. Their generosity and commitment to our Home Fire Preparedness Program enables events such as this to occur. Thank you for making such a huge impact in the community,” commented Leopold.

Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Sturla and Lancaster City Mayor Richard Gray also addressed the group, welcoming them to the city and thanking them for their service to the community.

A brief training session followed before the group, comprised of close to 200 Red Cross staff and volunteers, Lancaster City Firemen, UGI, PPL, Isaac’s, Highmark Blue shield, Millers Mutual, Paul Davis Restoration, Armstrong, RETTEW, The Infantree, First National Bank, SACA, and Benchmark Construction employees, and Millersville University students dispersed into the Musser Park, Mussertown, and Cabbage Hill areas of Lancaster City. Split into teams of four, they checked existing smoke detectors to make sure they worked properly and installed free smoke detectors where none existed or where existing ones had failed. They also educated the residents on how to create and practice home fire escape plans.