The American Red Cross North Texas Region Disaster Services Team was up bright and early on a warm June Saturday morning with one thing in mind: making sure families in Mesquite, Texas are equipped to prevent house fires and save lives as part of the Red Cross “Sound the Alarm” initiative.
On June 18, volunteers from the Red Cross, Potter’s House and United MegaCare took to the streets, knocking on doors, installing 10-year spoke alarms and providing life-saving information in case of fires.
This spring’s goal was to install 1,985 free smoke alarms across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Prior to Mesquite, the Red Cross installed smoke alarms in Rowlett, Garland, Rockwall, Arlington and in many other North Texas cities. The efforts of the Disaster Services Team will continue throughout the summer. To request a smoke alarm click here.
Teamwork was at play as the day got warmer. “It’s hot out but it’s worth it,” mentioned Juliette Foster, one of the United MegaCare volunteers who focused her efforts on neighborhood engagement and education. Other volunteers took care of the handiwork needed to locate and install the smoke detectors.
City of Mesquite Disaster Services was on hand as well, providing the Mesquite Recreation Center and Park as a meeting point prior to installations. They also had an Emergency Services Vehicle, equipped with a bathroom and air-conditioned seating, for much needed volunteer rest breaks.
Other United MegaCare volunteers, like Tiffany Brinkley, were very enthusiastic about volunteering, making sure everyone felt good before going out under the hot sun. She made sure everyone was feeling well and hydrated afterward. “I love to help and volunteer and if y’all need me, I’ll be here next week!”
By that afternoon, the sun was strong, and spirits were high after installing more than a few smoke alarms. Red Cross Interim CEO Ariane Einecker was especially grateful, emphasizing the life-saving work of the volunteers that day “you’re cutting their risk of death by over half with these alarms, so thank you for being a part of that. You’re saving lives today.”
Sound the Alarm was launched by the American Red Cross in 2014 as part of the nationwide Home Fire Campaign with the goal of installing free smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods, replacing old batteries in existing smoke alarms, and educating families on home fire safety to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries in the US.