Friday, September 9, 2016

Red Cross and Local Partners Hold Harrisburg Home Fire Preparedness Campaign Event

Over 200 American Red Cross and United Way of the Capital Region Day of Caring volunteers joined forces with the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire to install over 800 free smoke alarms in close to 200 home and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during a special event held in the Uptown Neighborhood of Harrisburg on Friday, September 9, 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 Campaign nearly two years ago, we have been able to document over 100 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 comments made by Sims, added, “Seven times each day someone dies in a home fire. Working smoke alarms can increase your chance of escaping safely by over 50%, yet so many homes in our community do not have them.”

Leopold then noted how thankful she was for the organizations and corporations who have partnered with the Red Cross to make events such as this possible, commenting, “We are so very grateful for the support of our financial sponsors – UGI, PPL, PinnacleHealth, Giant, and Isaac’s. Their generosity and commitment to our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign enables events such as this to occur. We are also extremely grateful for the support of The United Way of the Capital Region. In addition to being a financial supporter of the Red Cross, they are also the ones who – through their annual Day of Caring – brought many of today’s volunteers to us. A huge shout-out goes to Chief Brian Enterline and the entire Harrisburg Bureau of Fire as well for their continued support of this program, and we need to show our appreciation to the good folks here at the Zembo Shrine for allowing us to use this great facility for our event. Finally, thank you to Bob Hauer and the crew at The River 97.3 for being here with us this morning.”

Pennsylvania State Senator Rob Teplitz and Harrisburg City Mayor Eric Papenfuse also addressed the crowd, welcoming them to the city and thanking them for their service to the community.

A brief training session followed before the group, comprised of Red Cross staff and volunteers and additional volunteers from Penn National, Highmark, Aetna, Capital BlueCross, IBM, and Helping with Pride, dispersed to go door-to-door into the Uptown Community, where they checked existing smoke alarms to make sure they worked properly and installed free smoke alarms where none existed or where existing ones had failed. They also educated the residents on how to create and practice home fire escape plans.