Almost 50 volunteers from the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross met at Fire Station Number 3 on Martha Street in San Jose on a rainy morning this past Saturday. After remarks by Captain Bien Doan of the San Jose Fire Department and superb training by Liz Dietz, Terry Unter, and Doug Moses-Batson, the teams — in spite of the rainy weather — visited a total of 52 homes in County Fair Mobile Estates and Village of the Four Seasons, in San Jose. The work was done as a part of the ongoing Red Cross “Sound The Alarm” activities.
The volunteers were divided into teams to install smoke alarms and provide training in several areas.
The team Educator helped families create an escape plans and learn about local safety hazards such as earthquakes and how to be prepared for them.
Each team had an installer responsible for the actual installation and an educator who provided training about the alarms, fire, and earthquake safety and the importance of escape routes. A documenter, who recorded the number of alarms installed and demographics of each family, rounded out the team.
The event was a great success in part due to the tremendous job of advance canvassing undertaken by Captain Doan. Canvassing continued during the event with additional residents asking for the alarms before the event ended in the afternoon.
Overall, volunteers served almost 200 residents in over 70 homes and installed almost 170 smoke alarms.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death in half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives; that’s why we launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.
By Larry Dietz
About 50 volunteers from the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross and the San Jose Fire Department fanned out this past Saturday in the Village of the Four Seasons in San Jose, as a part of the ongoing Red Cross Sound The Alarm campaign. Read more
Tyge Bellinger likes helping people. It’s been his “thing” ever since he was a little kid. He first volunteered in 2017, during his senior year of high school. He joined the Home Fire Campaign and has been doing it ever since.
“I think I’ll keep building my work with the American Red Cross, but I love what I’m doing,” Tyge says. “I like doing things that can help save lives. And I like the people I work with, too.” Read more
American Red Cross volunteer Sierra Marcelius received the Gene Beck Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award in June of this year. When asked what the award meant to her on a personal level, Sierra reflects, “At the time it didn’t mean a lot; I didn’t do this to get an award. But now that I’ve left, it means a great deal. The people that I worked with thought I did a good job and valued my contribution to the team.” Read more
In an effort to make our neighbors safer, volunteers from our Central Coast Chapter joined forces with our partners this past weekend to install 121 free smoke alarms in homes in the city of Watsonville. In all, our Sound the Alarm – Save a Life activity helped make 58 adults and children safer through the installations and accompanying safety education. Read more
Below are the contents of a letter sent to our offices by a grateful recipient of Red Cross services during the North Bay wildfires. They asked to remain anonymous but were happy to share their perspective.
June 27, 2018
Dear Red Cross Angels,
When the fire devoured [my home], it vaporized every vestige of my life, including my very identity-and it nearly vaporized me. I escaped, barefoot, with only seconds to spare. As I approached the Veterans Memorial Hall, at around 4:30 AM., I was struck by the realization that, for the first time in my adult life (at age 77), I was utterly helpless and at the mercy of strangers. For a man who had always felt extremely strong, capable, and independent, it was a shock, and I was apprehensive about what might lie before me. Read more
CARMEL, CA (August 16, 2018) — On average, home fires kill 7 people and injure another 36 — every single day in the United States. That’s why the American Red Cross launched its nationwide Home Fire Campaign in 2014 with the goal of reducing the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.
A key component of the campaign is a series of “Sound the Alarm – Save a Life” events in which Red Cross volunteers, working with local fire departments and other partners, visit high-risk neighborhoods to offer to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, and help families create escape plans. It is believed that the “Sound the Alarm” neighborhood visits have already saved more than 450 lives throughout the United States since the Home Fire Campaign began.
On Saturday, August 25, a Sound the Alarm event will take place in the city of Watsonville. Read more