The American Red Cross continues its nationwide ‘Home Fire Campaign’ throughout various communities, large and small. Three more communities in northern Minnesota were canvassed door-to-door by volunteers from the Red Cross and local fire departments to prepare and protect families. Home fires continue to be America’s number one disaster threat.
For the first time in the region, three communities in the same area were canvassed simultaneously with assistance from fire departments in each area. Minnesota towns, Hallock, Donaldson and Kennedy were a part of the 3-hour event, which included 14 Red Cross volunteers from Pembina, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Barnesville. Nearly 180 smoke alarms were installed in homes as a result.
“It took a lot of coordination to canvass three different communities, but we had tremendous support,” said Sean Coffman, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager. “We had another highly successful preparedness campaign.”
Nearly Half of Homes Not Prepared
Overall, nearly 250 homes were canvassed, with smoke alarms and/or batteries installed in 46% of the homes visited. Several homes were found to have either no smoke alarms or just one on the main level of a multi-level home.
The Emergency Manager & local fire chiefs were very enthusiastic about the event prior to the canvassing, and were even more inspired after the event.
Barb O’Hara, Kittson County Emergency Manager, indicated that two volunteer fire fighters stated that, “This was a lot of fun.”
Both fire departments felt that the opportunity to engage with their communities was invaluable, and stated that it would help with their own donation campaigns for needed upgrades to facilities and equipment. The Kennedy Volunteer Fire Department was able to recruit three new volunteer fire fighters during the canvassing event as well.
Word-of-mouth about the event has prompted two additional fire departments in Kittson County to contact O’Hare to schedule events.
By The Numbers
Total homes visited-243
Total alarms installed-179
Total Batteries installed-99