Parkview collaborates with the American Red Cross for fire protection

smoke detector

Parkview Health is partnering with the American Red Cross and local fire departments this fall for the annual Smoke Detector Canvassing event, a collaborative volunteer opportunity that will assist with the free installation and checks of fire alarms for people throughout the community.

The goal

In short, to save lives. An average of seven lives are lost each day in the U.S. due to home fires. Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late. The Red Cross urges every household to take the time and talk with their loved ones about fire safety. They suggest implementing two simple steps:

1) Check your smoke alarms monthly

2) Practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year

Chad Priest, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross, Indiana Region, agrees, “Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster, and we want to ensure everyone knows how to protect themselves and their loved ones from these everyday crises.”

How it works – The volunteer experience

Volunteers choose between three roles: installer, educator or documenter. Based on your choice, you would be divided into teams of three or four. Each team member has their own specific tasks; Educators provide outreach education to the residents while the installers perform and oversee all installation and testing, and the documenters keep track of the process and paperwork for all detectors being placed.

On the day of the event, volunteers report to the meeting place determined by the team coordinator. Here they receive instructions, training, tools and other supplies required during the canvassing event. All volunteers, including your team, then travel to the participating neighborhoods to begin the installation of the lifesaving smoke detectors.

What can you do to help?

While it may seem simple, this event and the need for volunteers is vital. Without it, one Fort Wayne family would not have survived. The family of four narrowly escaped a fire in their home, but thanks to a canvassing event, the smoke detectors that were installed five months earlier did their jobs perfectly and alerted the family, signaling it was time to get out. Using their evacuation plan and guidance received from volunteers during the canvassing event, everyone was able to make it to safety.

Alyssia Mickem, safety supervisor, Parkview Health, said it best, “We encourage everyone who is interested in assisting to sign up so that we can extend our reach throughout our communities. In years past, we’ve visited 164 homes and installed 284 smoke detectors! That is amazing! Think of how many lives we’ve touched! Please help us make a difference in our community.”

Next event

If you are interested in participating in this life-saving opportunity, the next Red Cross Smoke Detector Canvassing & Installation event will be held on Saturday, October 26 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. If you have questions or would like to sign up to volunteer, contact Alyssia Mickem at alyssia.mickem@parkview.com.

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