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Red Cross Volunteer Puts Aside Own Needs to Help Fire Victims

Ruben Brown, Red Cross staff member, interviews James Greason (left), a Red Cross volunteer.

Ruben Brown, Red Cross staff member, interviews James Greason (left), a Red Cross volunteer. Photo courtesy of StoryCorps

I just consider myself fortunate to be able to assist someone in need.

With October 6 – 12 designated as Fire Prevention Week, the American Red Cross wants to remind the public that it responds to a disaster every eight minutes and nearly all of these are fires in the home.

Home fires are the biggest disaster threat facing American families today. When a family is left to watch firefighters battle the blazes under their roof, the Red Cross can be a source of help for finding shelter, food and other necessities and making a plan for the future.

In a heartening interview, James Greason, a Red Cross volunteer, describes what motivates him to leave the safety and comfort of his own home to go out into the elements and help victims of house fires and other emergencies. Listen to the interview.

Two Steps to Protect Your Home from Fire

Home fires can strike quickly and without warning, devastating lives and property. But unlike other disasters, most home fires can be prevented.

Take these two easy steps to make your home and family safer from the dangers of fires:

Install smoke alarms

Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including bedrooms. Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year.

Create a fire escape plan

Fires can spread quickly and every second counts. Having a plan in place can help you escape, but less than one-fourth of Americans have actually made a plan and practiced it.

Home fire plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room of your home. People should select a meeting spot at a safe distance from the home where family members can meet after a fire. Then everyone in the household should discuss the plan and practice it at least twice a year.

Visit for more steps people can take to lessen the chance of a fire in their home.

Learn more about volunteering for the Red Cross at

Tags: Fire Safety.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.