Concentrated education effort, free smoke alarm installations will target all age groups across the borough
NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 9, 2022 — The American Red Cross in Greater New York today announced the launch of a multi-faceted readiness program across communities in the Bronx. During 2021, the Red Cross responded to 294 single and multiple family fires in the Bronx and provided assistance to 1859 individuals. Since January 1, 2022, there have been 29 fires in the Bronx, including the tragic fatal fire at Twin Parks North.
The effort is made possible thanks to the generous support of the New York Yankees and New York City Football Club.
Targeted neighborhoods include, Allerton, Belmont, Claremont, Concourse, Concourse Village, Crotona Park East, East Tremont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Kingsbridge, Longwood, Melrose, Morris Heights, Mount Eden, Morrisania, Mount Eden, Mount Hope, North Brother Island, Port Morris, South Brother Island, West Farms, University Heights, Van Nest, and West Farms.
Preparedness programs will be offered both in person and virtually. As requested, presentations can be delivered in English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, French, German, Italian, Mandingo, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Sussu/Susu/Soso, Twi, and Wolof.
Through this program, Red Cross encourages all community members to become Preparedness Champions:
- Get Prepared at Home: Learn how to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from local hazards, including home fires by signing up for an in person or virtual event featuring Be Red Cross Ready or the NYS program Prepare, Respond, Recover. Hands Only CPR, which can help gain precious time for a person experiencing a cardiac event, will also be offered. Virtual events can be found here: www.redcross.org/gnyprepare
- Teach Kids about Preparedness: The Red Cross will offer education preparedness programs for students in grades K-12, including the Pillowcase Project and Prepare with Pedro. Prepare with Pedro is a 30- to 45-minute preparedness education program for grades K-2 that teaches students how to BE PREPARED and TAKE ACTION for either home fires or a local hazard. The Pillowcase Project is a preparedness education program for grades 3-5 that teaches students about personal and family preparedness and safety skills, local hazards, and basic coping skills.
- Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.: Together with the FDNY, the Red Cross will install FREE smoke detectors in area homes and provide fire safety education to families in their home. To sign up visit www.soundthealarm.org/nyc
- Volunteer to Help Others: Join your local Red Cross to help your community prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters big and small, including home fires. Volunteer opportunities are available at www.redcross.org/gnyvolunteer
“Helping to ensure that our neighbors have the knowledge and skills needed to help prevent disasters and protect themselves is at the heart of our mission,” said Mary J. Barneby, CEO, American Red Cross in Greater NY. “We are so grateful to our partners at the NY Yankees and the NYCFC whose commitment to helping build resilient communities helps ensure we are able to support our neighbors facing emergencies.”
“Our organization shares in the pain of our neighbors and friends in the Bronx in the wake of the devastating loss of life and home due to fire in recent months,” said Yankees Senior Vice President of Corporate/Community Relations Brian Smith. “We are humbled to have an opportunity to expand our community outreach beyond initial aid to those grieving and displaced by contributing to the impactful education and preparedness measures of the American Red Cross in Greater New York, which will provide the foundation toward eliminating future preventable fire-related tragedies in our community.”
“New Yorkers look out for each other, and that’s what the American Red Cross in Greater New York is doing here,” said Brad Sims, NYCFC CEO. “This important program can make the difference in preventing more tragedies from occurring and save countless lives throughout the Bronx with its education and outreach offered in multiple languages. We’re proud to join the Red Cross and others to bring this critical work online and to continue supporting our local community.”
"I applaud the American Red Cross in Greater New York for developing a strategy that shares our mission to strengthen all communities through preparedness in a fair and equitable way," said NYC Emergency Management Acting Commissioner Christina Farrell. "NYC Emergency Management looks forward to continuing its partnership with the Red Cross to empower New Yorkers to be ready for any emergency that comes their way."
“Every day, the American Red Cross in Greater New York works in partnership with the FDNY to keep New Yorkers safe, and to assist them after fires and other emergencies. Red Cross volunteers are an integral part of the emergency response in our city,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “In the last several years, Red Cross and FDNY members have installed or distributed 125,000 smoke alarms citywide since 2015; and their new preparedness program will continue that important work and improve the safety of Bronx residents.”
“We must not wait until the next tragic fire occurs before we are better prepared and to provide our residents with the necessary resources to be safe and secure in their home,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “This preparedness program, offered in different languages to meet the needs of our communities, will be a great resource and a step in the right direction towards prevention when it comes to tragic fires. I thank The Red Cross, The New York Yankees and New York City Football Club for partnering to launch this program and I look forward to the collaboration.”
Senator Alessandra Biaggi said: “The ECHO program will bring necessary education to the Bronx on disaster and emergency preparedness to ensure that our communities have the tools and resources they need in case of a crisis. I am grateful to the American Red Cross for bringing this important initiative to the Bronx, and I look forward to further working with them to provide our communities with the resources they need to stay safe.”
Senator Gustavo Rivera said: “As our borough continues to cope with the loss from last month’s devastating fire at Twin Parks and an increase in residential fires overall, I am incredibly grateful to the American Red Cross in Greater New York for teaming up with local partners to launch a fire readiness and preparedness program at various neighborhoods across The Bronx,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “While we cannot prevent all fires from happening, our community deserves all of the resources and support that we can offer, and this program will provide Bronxites the education they need to be fully prepared in the event of such an emergency.”
Senator Luis Sepúlveda said: “The Red Cross is teaming up with Bronx community members to launch a preparedness program that seeks to educate and prepare the public for emergency situations and prevention. I congratulate the Red Cross and invite all those who can participate and support this effort to do so. The workshops will provide us with life-saving information, such as the application of first aid, fire prevention and what to do in the event of an emergency. It is very important that the Bronx take advantage of this effort, especially as we have seen how catastrophic situations can quickly take the lives of our people. We can reduce these fatal events through education and prevention. I welcome this initiative, the Red Cross, and its partners in their development of these workshops.”
Assembly Member Kenny Burgos said: “Just one month ago, a tragic fire occurred at a residential building in the Bronx, killing 17 people. As a result of this tragedy, it is essential that we provide the resources and skills necessary to survive. I applaud the American Red Cross in Greater New York for taking these life-saving measures to help folks prepare for emergency situations and prevent future tragedies.”
Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. said: “The recent tragedies in the Bronx have shown us just how important fire preparedness measures are,’ stated Council Member Rafael Salamanca, 17th Council District, The Bronx. ‘Working with the New York Red Cross, we are actively raising awareness on how all New Yorkers, regardless of age, can be champions of fire safety. From having a household emergency plan in place to ensuring all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order, these simple, yet invaluable tips can truly be lifesaving. I thank the Red Cross for serving New Yorkers in their greatest time of need and look forward to partnering with them to educate my constituents on these important programs.”
Council Member Pierina Sanchez said: “In the last month, multiple fires have affected the heart and soul of our Bronx communities. We have lost 18 neighbors and seen dozens of families displaced. As we do all we can to ensure we understand the circumstances of each fire and protect our neighbors into the future, I am glad to partner with the Red Cross to launch a fire preparedness program for the Bronx that will help to avoid fires and save lives during these tragic events.”
Council Member Althea Stevens said: “It's critical to provide our youth the opportunity to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to help avert disasters and proactively keep themselves safe. Introducing skills these skills to the youth can inspire individuals to get involved in frontline work, and collectively get the community on board to ensure we a remaining safe and prepared.”
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.