Improvements Continue, Says Top Red Cross Executive

2016 will be the Year of Stability for the American Red Cross.  That declaration came from Sue Richter, Division Vice President, who paid a visit to the Cleveland office on Tuesday, August 18. There she shared with the region;’s leadership team many of the accomplishments of the past year, a year of “embracing changes and improvements.”

Sue, who has served as interim CEO for several Red Cross regions throughout the country, said one of the major goals of the Red Cross nationally is the expansion of Operation Save-A-Life, a program that started in Cleveland more than 20 years ago, following a spate of deadly house fires.  With the help of valuable partnerships and dedicated volunteers, over 150,000 free smoke alarms have been installed throughout the area.  Operation Save-A-Life does just that: deaths related to home fires have fallen significantly in the city of Cleveland since the start of the program, according to Mike Parks, CEO of the Northeast Ohio region.

The effort continues. Madison Township, near Mansfield, had a successful fire walk on Tuesday, August 18. In partnership with the Madison Township Fire Department, the Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter installed 114 smoke alarms in nearly 70 homes. Trained volunteers with the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross will be joined by partners from Lincoln Electric and the Euclid Fire Department to install free smoke alarms in Euclid this Saturday, August 22.

Meantime, Sue said that getting volunteers even more involved with all of the life-saving efforts of the Red Cross is a top priority. Red Cross leaders are working hard to identify the areas where volunteers are needed most, so that they can be deployed in the most effective way possible. “We’ve only begun to scratch the surface,” she said, when it comes to tapping into the Red Cross’ passionate volunteer force. “We’re on the right track.”

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