Monday, June 20, 2016

The Eastern New York Red Cross Helps NYC Get Alarmed!

by Kate Walpole, American Red Cross

Our #GetAlarmedNYC team got a bit of help from our neighbors to the North last week. On Sunday June 12 staff from the Northeast NY Region traveled to NYC to support our Home Fire Safety Campaign.

Hundreds of free smoke alarms were installed by a team that consisted of seven volunteers and AmeriCorps members our neighboring Region as part of our initiative that aims to install up to 100,000 free combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors by 2017.

(L to R): Ann Byrne, Thomas Becker, Meghan Yost, Jenner Alarcon,
Jane Wenham, Julianna Shei (missing Paul Charon).
On Monday the group teamed up with local volunteers from Staten Island to install a total of 124 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The following two days, they went to Brooklyn to fulfill installation requests and appointments providing 42 families with free devices and fire safety education. 96 alarms were installed on Tuesday and 88 alarms were installed on Wednesday. On their last day with the Red Cross in Greater New York, these volunteers were recognized at the Greater NY Region’s all staff meeting for their support and commitment to the Red Cross mission and the #GetAlarmedNYC program.

“I do this program up in Eastern New York as well…it was awesome to come down here and to do installs for a couple of days,” said Disaster Preparedness volunteer and AmeriCorps member in Eastern New York, Meghan Yost. “We helped a lot of people in a short amount of time. It was great to speak to people who really need these alarms. I saw a lot of homes that didn’t have any smoke alarms at all. It really makes me happy to be able to help a population that could really face a tragedy when it comes to home fires. Overall it was a great experience working with the volunteers as well. Everyone really seems to be working towards reducing home fire deaths. I had a lot of fun and would love to come back again!”

“Going throughout the boroughs really made me feel like a part of this fire safety mission,” said Jane Wenham, Health Services volunteer in Eastern New York.

Spurred by the tragic deaths of seven children in a fire in Midwood, #GetAlarmedNYC targets communities in all five boroughs and has grown to become the largest smoke detector giveaway and installation program in the U.S.

To learn more about #GetAlarmedNYC, including how to schedule a free combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector installation and how to volunteer with the Red Cross, please visit

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