This past Saturday, February 6, 2016, Red Cross volunteers gathered around to knock on doors and help save lives at the Columbia Sky Mobile Home Park in Tuolumne County.
Together with the Tuolumne Fire Department about a dozen volunteers met on the brisk Saturday morning to participate in the first Home Fire Campaign canvassing event in that county.
The day could not have been better, even the deer were out to greet the volunteers and the Columbia mobile home park residents were friendly and receptive.
“All of the volunteers really enjoyed visiting with the seniors,” said Debbie Calcotte, Disaster Program Manager with the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.
In all, volunteers visited 39 homes and installed 51 smoke alarms.
“This was a great kick-off canvassing event for Tuolumne County,” said Lilly Wyatt, Communications Director. “But, we would not have been able to get in to talk to so many individuals and families if it wasn’t for the partnership and collaboration of the Tuolumne Fire Department.”
Anyone is encouraged to sign up and volunteer for future canvassing events across the 24-county Gold Country region of the American Red Cross. Training is provided.
“Today’s event was encouraging,” added JoLynn Miller, Red Cross volunteer. “We heard stories from the people we were visiting on how they actually support the Red Cross with donations and how grateful they were to the teams for being there today.”
The young fire cadets we’re also thrilled to talk to the community about how important fire safety was and help them with fire escape plans and routes.
Data shows that the 4% of homes without smoke alarms represent nearly 40% of the home fires, and that working smoke alarms can double someone’s chance of surviving a fire. That’s why, the American Red Cross is continuing the multi-year Home Fire Campaign, which aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent by the end of 2019.
- Installation teams have three goals:
- Testing and installing smoke alarms and/or replacing batteries (as needed);
- Educating the resident on fire safety and safety from other types of locally relevant disasters; and
- Documenting installation information, including the services provided.
The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to join us in taking the two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.
We are in Sonora next Saturday.
Check our our Home Fire Campaign Album on Flickr with images from some of the canvassing events we’ve participated in. 🙂