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Mayor Purzycki, Fire Chief Donohue Announce Partnership with American Red Cross to Distribute and Install FREE Smoke Alarms

Post Date:04/22/2019 3:00 PM

Volunteers are needed for the Red Cross “Sound the Alarm” program to install as many as 2,000 smoke alarms in southwest Wilmington neighborhoods

wfd red cross banner

Mayor Mike Purzycki today joined Fire Chief Michael Donohue and Theresa Young, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Delmarva Chapter, to announce that Wilmington will participate this week in the Red Cross Sound the Alarm initiative by hosting a two-day, home fire safety and smoke alarm installation campaign in some City neighborhoods. The campaign will take place this week on Thursday, April 25 and Saturday, April 27. Each day, volunteers who want to help install the devices will be trained, and then go into the field to install the alarms immediately thereafter.
The Wilmington Fire Department (WFD) will work alongside about 100 Red Cross and other local community volunteers to install FREE smoke alarms and educate families about fire prevention and safety. As many as 2,000 smoke alarms are expected to be installed in the Canby Park, Union Park Gardens and Bayard Square sections of the city. These areas were selected by the WFD for the City’s first such Red Cross partnership program.
“Home fires are, regrettably, an all-too-frequent occurrence, both nationally and across our city,” said Mayor Purzycki, “and tragically, most fire victims do not have working smoke alarms. We are very happy to partner with the Red Cross in an effort to make City households and communities safer and save lives in the process.”
“Smoke alarms save lives,” said Chief Donohue, “and they are a vital part of our community risk-reduction program. The Sound the Alarm Campaign will make our city a safer place.”
Wilmington is one of more than 100 communities participating nationwide in this Red Cross effort to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires. The smoke alarms installed in Wilmington will count toward a national goal of 100,000 for this year alone. Sound the Alarm events across the country are part of the Home Fire Campaign, which the Red Cross launched in 2014. So far, it has reached more than 1.7 million people and saved more than 552 lives around the country.
If you would like to receive a FREE smoke alarm and have Red Cross volunteers install them, click here to fill out a Free Smoke Alarm & Education Request Form, or call 302.492.6098. Applications will be accepted up until the day before each scheduled installation.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer smoke alarm installer, visit this link (for 4/25) or this one (for 4/27) to register, or call 302.492.6098. Walk-in volunteers are also welcome both days.
The meeting locations for volunteer teams are:

* Thursday, April 25, 2019 
   Joseph H. Douglass School
   1800 Prospect Road, Wilmington 19805
   8:30-9 a.m. training; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. installation (shifts available)
   Areas: Canby Park, Union Park Gardens 

* Saturday, April 27, 2019 
  Joseph H. Douglass School
  1800 Prospect Road, Wilmington 19805
  9-9:30 a.m. training; 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. installation (shifts available)
  Areas: Union Park Gardens, Bayard Square
Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal James R. Jobes said that these three areas were selected for the current Red Cross campaign in part due to the age and density of the homes there, as well as the fact that these areas have been untouched by routine fire department outreach efforts in the past two years.

“Whenever there is a house fire anywhere in the city, the department follows up with an Operation Re-check,” said Jobes. “Firefighters will visit homes in a three-by-three block radius surrounding a fire location to check for working fire alarms and engage citizens in fire safety education. We will be targeting other areas of Wilmington in the coming months, including Cool Springs/Tilton and the Highlands.”

Deputy Chief Jobes also reminded citizens that the Wilmington Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division (Fire Marshal’s Office) manages a smoke alarm and CO alarm program that provides smoke alarms and CO alarms free of charge to homeowners in the City of Wilmington throughout the year. The FMO also maintains a 24-hour Smoke Alarm Hotline at 302.571.4361. For more information about this program or to see if you qualify, visit here.
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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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