Home Fire Campaign Celebrates 715 Lives Saved; How You Can Help!

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is celebrating a milestone this week with the 715th life saved as a result of free smoke alarms being installed in homes around the country.

In all, we’ve installed more than 2 million smoke alarms nationwide since 2014 in hopes of reducing home fire deaths and serious injury by 25%.

This year in the Gold Country Region, our goal is to install 4,000 free smoke alarms — 1,100 of them on April 25 as part of our national Sound the Alarm event!

When a fire starts in the home, you have less than two minutes to escape safe. Smoke alarms can make all the difference. But we can’t do it alone! Sign up to join a team of installers by going to soundthealarm.org.

Looking for a Volunteer Opportunity That Could Save Lives in Sac/Yolo Counties?

Looking for a #volunteer opportunity in #Sacramento and #Yolo counties that will save lives?

The national Sound the Alarm event in the Gold Country Region is April 25! Our goal for 2020 is 4,000 alarm installations – 1,100 of those on April 25 alone!

As part of the Home Fire Campaign, Sound the Alarm is our largest community event!

To reach our goal, the region’s Preparedness Department is looking for a volunteer lead to oversee April 25 installations in Sacramento and Yolo counties.

This position is responsible for supporting and engaging the members assigned to the preparedness team, which includes ensuring assigned volunteers are provided with outstanding support and management.

Ability to build and lead a team using a collaborative leadership style and demonstrating traits of honesty, forward looking, competence, intelligence, and compassion. Capacity to envision the team’s impact in their area and inspire them into action. Ability to communicate how the team fits into the larger Disaster Cycle Services structure and how their actions can positively influence and support the DCS program as a whole.

#endhomefires

Additional Qualifications:

1) Ability to relate effectively with diverse groups and individuals
2) Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills
3) Demonstrated ability to read, understand, and review program guidelines and tools

Interested in learning more? Contact Community Preparedness Program Manager Kim Christensen at
916-281-4315 or kim.christensen@redcross.org.

About the Home Fire Campaign:

Every day, seven people die in home fires, most victims in homes that lack smoke alarms. The American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives – that’s why we launched our Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

Sound the Alarm is a critical part of the campaign. In just six years, our home visits have accomplished so much, including the installation of more than 2 million smoke alarms and preparing more than 2 million people against home fires.

Once a Recipient of Red Cross Assistance, Volunteer Steps Up to Help

Tammy ArtolaTammy Artola had not anticipated needing the American Red Cross’ assistance when she headed up to Truckee with her family for some time away.  She was with her daughter and grandson while her daughter’s boyfriend had stayed home to work.

At 2 a.m. she got a call that the mobile home on their 15 acres was on fire and that the flames were heading toward their home.

She remembers two members of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) who were called in to help. They comforted the family and helped with what was needed in alleviating the stress of all that was going on.

In the weeks that followed, they sorted through losing the mobile home, a workshop and many valuables. Tammy’s daughter and her family struggled to figure out where to go and how to process it all and ended up moving to Alabama in order to be near her boyfriend’s family. Their departure was incredibly hard on Tammy and she struggled with not being near her family.

Tammy was depressed for several weeks after her family left, and realized that she needed to add something to her life. She wanted to give back to those who might be in need and decided to call one of the DAT responders who had helped them through their ordeal.

Tammy has been a Red Cross Volunteer for a year now. She has received training in sheltering and is now a member of her local DAT team. In addition, she has gotten involved with Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces and has taken on a lead role in her local Sound the Alarm campaign.

One of the hardest parts of volunteering for Tammy is that she struggles with letting go after helping a client. She says she wants to follow up and provide as much care as possible, often wondering about the people she’s helped long after assistance is provided.

She experienced this on her first DAT call after helping a gentleman who experienced a fire at his mobile home. She recalled that it was a bit unsettling a first, not being sure of what to expect as she traveled into the park on a single access road. The gentleman was waiting for her team at the home of his landlord.

Tammy spent much of the time listening to him talk and providing a needed distraction from all that was going on. They were able to call a nurse to help with the man’s needs and found transportation to get him started on the next steps.

Tammy stated that she wished they could have done more and still wonders how he is doing from time to time.

Through the process of volunteering, Tammy feels that she has learned better listening skills, how to be prepared, and has gleaned so much from the volunteers around her.

Tammy says she enjoys volunteering for the Red Cross because it makes her feel good helping others and it reminds her of how lucky she is. She would encourage those who are thinking about volunteering to attend a local meeting to meet other volunteers and ask questions.

Even though a lot of training is involved, Tammy advised new volunteers to stick it out because it is so worth it.

Story by Americorps member Lauren Crutchfield

Sound the Alarm: Thank You to Our Partners

Hundreds of volunteers and community partners will join the American Red Cross this month for our annual signature event – Sound the Alarm – to install 1,000 free smoke alarms in seven cities throughout the Gold Country Region.

Our goal is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries associated with home fires by 25% by 2020. It’s an endeavor we could not undertake without the generous support of community partners.

Thank you!

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Big Day of Giving is May 3

Big Day of Giving is a 24-hour online giving challenge that brings together the Sacramento region to raise money for nearly 600 nonprofits and shine a spotlight on the work local organizations do to strengthen the capital area each day!

Make a difference during #BDOG2018 on Thursday, May 3, and donate to the American Red Cross Gold Country Region. This year, we are raising funds for Sound the Alarm, the Red Cross’ national initiative to install free smoke alarms in at-risk communities.

Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters nationwide, the majority of which are home fires. So, we set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the U.S. by 25%.

Did you know….

  • On average 7 people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly
  • 36 people suffer injuries related to home fires every day
  • Over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year

Help the Gold Country Region do its part to reduce injury and death related to home fires by donating now!

Make your donation online on May 3 or pre-schedule your gift by clicking here!

Every donation makes a difference. Thank you!

 

Seniors Take Charge in their Community Installing Smoke Alarms

It’s about Time…

Two minutes, to be exact.

In this agonizingly short timeframe, a family can win or lose its fight to escape a home fire and the lethal smoke created by that fire.   One device can even the odds for a family:  tested, working smoke alarms.

Our golden age community members understand this; they know there’s never any time to waste so these seniors didn’t.

Partnering with the American Red Cross, they took matters into their own hands.  They knocked on doors, hauled ladders, drilled into walls, mounted alarms, replaced dead batteries, shared fire prevention tips, and documented their results in a smoke alarm installation campaign. In just four-days they saw 20% of their neighborhood homes equipped with brand new 10-year-battery smoke alarms.  The group visited more than 100 homes installing 225 alarms.

They were the disaster volunteers of Mobile County Club in Rancho Cordova who carried out the project with the support of their management and Home Owners Association.

Nothing stopped them, not even temperatures which topped 100 degrees.  Red Cross staff and volunteers, in some cases half the age of their clients, did their best to keep up.  “They set a pace we haven’t seen before,” said Myisha Aban, Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Manager. “These people are so resilient and delightful. I wish my grandmother lived here.”

Equally important, residents were given safety literature emphasizing the all-imperative escape plan, ensuring that a two-minute evacuation strategy would not fail due to blocked or inaccessible exits or pathways to safety unknown to anyone in the household.

Spearheading the charge was Antonio Martinez, HOA Treasurer and the tireless promoter of disaster preparedness for his community of mobile homes.  Tony initiated this project when he called the Red Cross inquiring for free vests.  Joining Tony were residents Bob Schroeder, Lyle Fellows, Bill Johnston, Darrill Sturgeon, Jorge (Chiqui) Nievies, Linda Martinez, Deborah Fieldson, and Irene Ferraro.

The group proved itself not only handy but tireless.  Keeping up with them (or trying to) were Veteran Red Cross volunteer Marcus Heningburg who oversaw Operations along with David Hansen, Todd and Terry Sanford, Isadora Marks, Reena Singh, and Patricia Davis, all of the American Red Cross.

Start to finish, the project was encouraged by Property Manager Leslie Gomez and Office Assistant Kelly Boughton; their support and hospitality contributed significantly to the event’s success.

The alarms and batteries were provided free of charge as benefits of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, a nationwide movement to cut by 25% and over a five-year period deaths from home fires.

Coast-to-coast, the fire service has supported the campaign and did so here.  On the first day, a ladder company from Sacramento Metropolitan Fire walked with volunteers and encouraged neighbors to join the movement at Mobile Country Club.

…because Tony and his friends aren’t done.

They’ve got more of that Park to cover.  And they will.

Given several factors, the Red Cross encourages all mobile home parks and their managements to consider a Home Fire Campaign for smoke alarm installation and community disaster education. For more information or to schedule installations visit our website: redcross.org/GoldCountry and click on Home Fire Campaign.

Canvassing Westpoint in Calaveras County

Author: Debbie Calcote, Disaster Program Manager

Hello,

HFPC WESTPOINT 3_20_16We had a great day today. Spent a lot of time at some of the homes, didn’t reach our goal of 75 however, it was a successful day. We installed smoke detectors into homes that had mainly elderly and most of them had no smoke alarms. So it was a good day.

We had help from the Westpoint Fire Department, Mokulumne Hill CERT team and Red Cross volunteers.

Chief Jim Carroll spent the day with us, going back and forth between the two locations, Dunroven mobile estate in Westpoint and Blagen Rd in Wilselyville.

Chief came inside and met with many of the residences and spent time talking to them. It was greatly appreciated.

westpoint hfpc 2We installed:  42 smoke alarms, 17 CO monitors and 9 Batteries.
We went over evacuation plans even in homes we didn’t need to install smoke alarms. The residents of those homes were very grateful and said they had not thought about their own home needing to evacuate because of a fire. I think that was the best part, they were so engaged in learning how to escape their own homes.

O today, it was a success.

We all are looking forward to our next canvas.

The canvassing event in Calaveras County, was just one in a few that occurred within the region. Volunteers were also out in force in Sacramento  and were able to install more than 100 smoke alarms in the Oak Park and Del Paso neighborhoods.
Check out how the Service Delivery Stats (October 2014-January 2016) of the Home Fire Campaign nationwide!!
  • Documented Lives Saved: 78*
  • Smoke Alarms Installed: 264,000
  • In-Home Visits: 121,000
  • People Served: 333,000
  • Cities Served: 4,500
  • Youth Reached: 443,000
  • Coalition Partners Engaged: 2,500
  • Escape Plans Created: 100,000
  • Batteries Replaced: 24,000
  • View Regional Service Delivery Stats

*As of 3/11/16

Next weekend, we’re up in Redding!! Here we come!