During National Fire Prevention Week, the American Red Cross of Central Florida presented the region’s first official “life saved” award to St. Cloud Fire Rescue. The organizations have worked together for several years as part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign which helps save lives by installing free smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods and providing home fire safety education.
Through these efforts, the life of a St. Cloud resident has been saved – one of 472 lives saved across the United States since the campaign began in 2014.
“The number (of lives saved) continues to grow due to the tireless work of volunteers, local fire departments and community partners,” said Jose Bueno, regional preparedness manager, American Red Cross.
Bueno and Red Cross volunteers presented the award to St. Cloud Fire Marshal Richard Tonks, Fire Chief Silvestris and his team of dedicated professionals. City of Sanford officials joined the recognition including Mayor Nathan Blackwell, deputy mayor, city manager and council members.
A 76-year-old St. Cloud resident was saved when the sound of a smoke alarm – installed just a few months prior through the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign – alerted him to an early morning fire. The resident noted the fire safety information and escape plan he received through the in-home visit provided the preparation he needed to deal with the crisis.
In Central Florida to date, the Red Cross and partners have installed more than 19,000 smoke alarms and have helped more than 8,300 families create home fire escape plans.
Across the country, the Red Cross is committed to reducing the number of fire deaths and serious injuries in the United States at least 25 percent by 2020.
Photos courtesy of St. Cloud Fire Rescue, City of St. Cloud