Marquette High School seniors were met with the opportunity to volunteer and provide fire safety knowledge to homeowners around Michigan City this morning. The opportunity was collaboratively designed by the American Red Cross, United Way of LaPorte County, and the Michigan City Fire Department.
Students were not only taught more about fire safety, but out in the community aiding others in installing and checking their smoke alarms. Abby Goering, Disaster Program Specialist at the American Red Cross, explained the days events.
“Red Cross has donated smoke alarms to homes in the Northwest Indiana region," Goering said. "Today we have students going into the community to train and educate families about fire safety. We are also going to train them on how to check and install smoke alarms."
Red Cross pre-hung door hangers about the fire safety project to notify homeowners that they would be in the area. Additionally, if the homeowner is not available at that specific time, they have the option of calling Red Cross to schedule a fire safety and smoke alarm appointment.
“We are going to try to hit about 750 homes today. We can put up to three smoke alarms per home. It’s about preventing death in these counties and saving families,” Goering said.
According to the American Red Cross, three out of every five deaths due to a fire are preventable if there is a working smoke alarm. The smoke alarms that Red Cross provided homeowners have a ten year battery to ensure comfort and longevity. Additionally, if a home already has smoke alarms, the students encouraged to have them replaced.
Kris Pate, executive director at United Way of La Porte County, expressed her excitement over the volunteer event. By bringing in students, she sees a valuable return for the community.
“This is an incredible event. We are proud of Marquette High School because they instill volunteerism in their students at an early age. This particular project is senior based, and we have 70 of them with us today,” Pate said.
Students could choose one of three roles to complete a successful visit: the installer of the smoke alarm, the educator of fire safety, or the documentor of appliances used. After the visits were completed, the students celebrated with a pizza luncheon. They concluded by conducting CPR training courses, as well as a discussion further emphasizing the mission presented by United Way and the fire department.
Janae Galburth, senior student at Marquette, spoke about her excitement for the project.
“Marquette has a long history of wanting to help, especially with community service projects. I’m so excited to go out and do work with Red Cross because this is something I didn’t know about, ” Galburth said.
“In high school, at 16 I was volunteering with the Red Cross. It was so cool. We were engaged around a common concern. This day could impact the rest of the students lives, ” Pate expressed.
For those interested in learning about fire safety or scheduling an appointment with the American Red Cross, go to www.redcross.org. If you are interested in United Way of LaPorte County and their motives to promote this type of outreach visit www.unitedwaylpc.org.