Story by: Sue Toomey, American Red Cross
Photos by: Susan Plotner, American Red Cross
On Saturday, April 28, 2018, the American Red Cross in Connecticut held its Sound the Alarm. Save a Life. event in New Haven, as part of a nationwide effort to save lives.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disaster each year the majority of which are home fires. In Connecticut, the local Red Cross responds to an average of two home fires per day.
In an effort to reduce this number, the Connecticut Red Cross was able to meet its lofty goal of procuring 302 smoke alarm installation and fire safety training appointments with New Haven area residents.
The day, which started out a bit cloudy and cool, turned warm and sunny as volunteers began arriving at the New Haven Regional Fire Training Academy. The huge turnout
consisted of Red Cross volunteers, friends, family, co-workers and members of the community alike. Recruits from the Academy joined the installation teams which provided free smoke alarm installation and fire safety training to residents.Opening remarks were made by Connecticut and Rhode Island Red Cross CEO Mario Bruno, New Haven Deputy Fire Chief Orlando Marcano and a quick training update was given by Neil Brockway, then Mario sent the teams out to begin installations.
First time Red Cross volunteer, Susan Plotner, was amazed by the crowd’s energy. “It really restores your faith in humanity to see so many people wanting to help others,” she said, “I’m so glad I got involved.”
Tom Vaccarelli, Chairman of the event and Connecticut Red Cross Board Member is employed by Hartford Healthcare and said he felt the Red Cross was a very important organization to be involved with. “Our missions are so close. We both deal with disasters. We both care for people,” said Tom. “We have been planning for this event for several months and I am so proud to see all the volunteers come together and save lives.”
More than 250 volunteers attended the event and 75 teams tackled their appointment lists, then canvassed neighborhoods looking for others in need.
By day’s end, the Red Cross teams installed more than 1,170 alarms in the New Haven area, making area homes safer from the risk of fire. You can still help us Sound the Alarm! Visit soundthealarm.org/connecticut to learn more.