Written by David Haas
A priority for the Red Cross is reducing fire deaths in Eastern Pennsylvania. On Wednesday June 6th, Red Cross volunteers participated in a neighborhood safety walk-through with the Philadelphia Fire Department’s Fire Protection Division and the Fire Department Explorers (the Fire Explorers is a program for teens and young adults interested in fire science, emergency medical services (EMS), disaster relief, emergency management, and military-related training).
During the three-hour event, Red Cross volunteers installed smoke alarms and discussed fire safety with residents of the North Philadelphia neighborhood around Bustleton Ave. & Van Kirk St. where a fire death recently occurred. The Red Cross participates in fatal fire walkthroughs along side the Philadelphia Fire Department to promote fire safety and install smoke alarms in at-risk communities.
Concerned residents warmly welcomed the volunteers, who explained that fires are a major issue in aging homes around Philadelphia. The most important thing someone can do to prevent fire is to install a smoke alarm. The second most important thing is to have an emergency escape plan. In almost every house visited, non-working and outdated detectors were found and replaced.
The Fire Department supplied smoke alarms while the Red Cross supplied drills and step ladders. Members of the Red Cross Spiritual Care team provided assistance to residents who needed support. WCAU Channel 10, the local NBC affiliate, recorded the event for coverage on its TV news program and online. Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel was on hand to thank the program participants.
You can check www.SoundTheAlarm.org/EasternPA to learn more, or access Volunteer Connection to sign up for an upcoming event. Disaster Action Team members are alerted to Fire Walkthrough in coordination with the Fire Department.