I was given the distinct privilege of installing smoke alarms in Salt Lake City last week as part of the Red Cross Sound the Alarm campaign. There I had the opportunity to meet the President of the Chamber of Commerce and the volunteer Sound the Alarm lead for the region, intermingle with the police and fire departments, and be part of the “dream team.” This team consisted of fellow Red Cross employee Amber Savage, a fabulous pre-med volunteer named Zach, and myself. Although rain dampened our volunteer turnout, several committed teams installed smoke alarms to help families even in the less than desirable weather.
The smoke alarm in Zach’s hand is one we removed from a home owned by an elderly couple, both of whom were more than 90 years old. They had not changed the batteries or tested their smoke alarm in years. Not only were they ecstatic to be getting three new smoke alarms, but the fact that the alarms were free and had a battery that lasted for 10 years enhanced their pure delight. We learned so much from the couple, including the fact that the gentleman is a veteran and a former barber who still has his barber chair in the basement. They showed us pictures of their large family which included eight children, and could not thank us enough for what we did. The highlight for us was being able to let them know a hearing-impaired smoke alarm was available and would be coming to them soon.
This is one of my stories from my experience with Sound the Alarm. I am so fortunate to work for an organization that allows me to help those who need it most. The memories from the work I did last week will stay with me for a lifetime.
Thank you to the outstanding Utah Nevada Red Cross team for allowing me to participate and help make many southern Utah homes safer. And to Amber and Zach, thanks for the “dream team” memories.
I was stunned to find houses without smoke alarms or smoke alarms that didn’t work, but our small effort made so many people safer. And we still have lots of work to do and many more families to help! I hope that you too will join the effort to Sound the Alarm and work to end home fires in your community. You can learn how to get involved here.