Saturday, April 30, 2016

Red Cross Holds Two Fire Safety Events

Over 100 American Red Cross and community volunteers joined forces with the fire departments in Mifflinville and Mount Carmel to install close to 500 free smoke detectors and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during special events held in Mifflinville and Mount Carmel’s Ward 3 on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

“Seven times each day someone dies in a home fire,” noted Tom Szulanczyk, American Red Cross North Central Pennsylvania Executive Director. “Working smoke detectors can increase your chance of escaping safely by over 50%, yet so many homes in our community do not have them.”

Since its inception in October 2014, there have been close to 80 documented lives saved throughout the country due to the Home Fire Preparedness Program, underscoring the importance of the Mifflinville and Mount Carmel events.

Szulanczyk added, “When a home fire strikes, you have roughly two minutes to escape safely. The smoke detectors you install and the escape plans you help residents to create today have the potential to save a life.”

Pennsylvania State Representative David Millard greeted the group gathered in Mifflinville, and Mayor Philip Cimino, Pennsylvania State Representative Kurt Masser, and Fire Chief James Reed welcomed those in Mount Carmel. In all cases, the importance of the service being offered was stressed.

Opening remarks and a brief training session preceded the volunteers, grouped into teams of four, being dispersed into the community, where they traveled door-to-door to check existing smoke detectors and install free smoke detectors where none existed or where existing ones had failed. They also worked with the residents to create home fire escape plans.

The American Red Cross would like to thank our sponsors who helped to make both events possible – UGI, PPL, First Keystone Community Bank, BB&T Bank, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania, Clover Hose Company, Rescue Hose Company, American Hose Company, and Mifflin Rangers. We would also like to thank The Lower Anthracite Region United Way for helping to secure the volunteers for the Mount Carmel event and Mount Carmel Police Chief Todd Owens for his support and assistance.