'Team Firestopper' Launched to Raise Awareness of Fire Risks

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"The community response to the program has already been very positive."

The biggest disaster threat to families in America isn’t floods, hurricanes or tornadoes; it’s fire. The American Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes and nearly all of these are home fires. 

They can strike quickly and without warning, devastating lives and property. But fortunately, most home fires can be prevented. That is the goal of the Red Cross Team Firestopper program which culminates with a fire safety fair on Saturday, May 17 from 11 am-1 pm at Sheppard Elementary School at 1777 West Street in the Roseland neighborhood. 

Forty Red Cross volunteers went door-to-door to 1,500 homes in the Southwest section of Santa Rosa on May 3, 2014 to invite residents to the fire safety fair while sharing fire safety and prevention information.  Team Firestopper is a targeted initiative in Southwest Santa Rosa given the area’s higher incidence of house fires, according to our county fire prevention authorities. The program is sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), State Farm, and Community Foundation Sonoma County in partnership with Blood Centers of the Pacific. “Our goal is to reduce the number and impact of fires in the most fire-affected communities in our region,” says Red Cross Chief Executive Officer Tim Miller, California Northwest Region. “The community response to the program has already been very positive.” 

At the interactive Team Firestopper event on May 17, attendees will learn skills and fire safety techniques to help prevent fires and save lives in the event of a house fire. Blood Centers of the Pacific are also hosting a blood drive in conjunction with Team FireStopper. To register to give blood, please visit their website. Additionally, all attendees who complete the program will receive a free bag of tools including a fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and more. Due to limited space, the Team Firestopper program is limited to residents of the Roseland neighborhood and to the first 50 families to pre-register at 707-577-7620. Anyone can register to give blood. 

For more information about Team Firestopper, go to redcross.org/SML.

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 redcross.org/sml or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossSML.