Operation Save-A-Life Lives Up to its Name, Again and Again

More Lives Saved Across the Country Thanks to Smoke Alarms, Education

159.  That is the number of documented lives saved as of the close of 2016, thanks to the Home Fire Campaign, which the Red Cross rolled out nationwide in 2014.

The campaign is modeled after Operation Save-A-Life, which began as a partnership between the Cleveland Fire Department and the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Red Cross in 1992.

The 25th anniversary of Operation Save-A Life will be recognized at the 2017 Red Cross Fire and Ice Ball, which takes place on March 25 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Cleveland.
Together with corporations, community groups and other partners, the Red Cross provides residents with valuable fire safety information and installs free smoke alarms in homes where they are needed.32318085516_522639e1c2_z

“Thanks to the tireless work of our volunteers, employees, local fire departments, and other partners in the Home Fire Campaign, today we celebrate 159 documents lives saved,” said Harvey Johnson, Senior Vice President, Disaster Cycle Services.

Partners helping the Red Cross achieve its goal of reducing deaths and injury due to home fires by 25% range from the employees of Lincoln Electric to a group of missionaries from the Akron Stake of the Church of  Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Eight elders of the  church recently installed 60 alarms in the homes of people in need.

“The group is very dedicated, said Debbie Chitester, Disaster Program Manager for the Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties Chapter.  “I have worked with missionaries on disaster operations across the country. They always come through for us and the people we serve.”

Your group can be a part of Operation Save-A-Life in Northeast Ohio by sponsoring a smoke alarm installation project.  Log onto redcross.org/neoosal, and click on your county to register.

The smoke alarms you install could be the next ones that save a life.

Parma Neighborhood Now Better Protected from Home Fires

Fire Walk

Photos provided by Cal Pusateri/American Red Cross Volunteer

Smoke Alarms Installed in Dozens of Homes

While many of us were preparing to “Turn and Test”…turn our clocks back an hour, and test our smoke alarms on Saturday, November 5, the last day of Daylight Savings Time for 2016, several Parma residents got new smoke alarms installed in their homes.Fire Walk

The Red Cross and its partners with the Parma Fire Department and Parma CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) visited 38 homes, and installed 116 smoke alarms that day as part of Operation Save-A-Life.

Residents were also given valuable fire safety information, including ways to develop escape plans in the event of a home fire.

Last year, the Red Cross and its partners installed almost 13,000 smoke alarms in homes throughout the Northeast Ohio Region.

If you would like to help the Red Cross make Northeast Ohio a safer place to live by partnering with us to install smoke alarms, or if you need smoke alarms in your home, visit our Operation Save-A-Life page at redcross.org/neoosal.

Volunteering Spans Generations for One Red Cross Family

Grandfather, Grandson in North Carolina Helping with Hurricane Response

Alejandro Reynoso is trying to teach his grandson a lesson. His classroom is a Red Cross emergency response vehicle.

Mr. Reynoso and his grandson, 18-year old Dominic drove the ERV from Arizona to North Carolina to help people affected by Hurricane Matthew.

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“I think we should all take some time to contribute to society,” Mr. Reynoso says.  “It’s more of a duty.”

Dominic just graduated from high school, and isn’t sure what he wants to do in the future.  But for the present, he and his grandfather are busy dishing out bratwurst and baked beans, canned pears and potato chips to North Carolina residents impacted by flooding and other storm damage.

They make a good team.

“That lady told me she hadn’t eaten in three days,” Dominic says of one flood-affected resident, who received food prepared by the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief organization.  He gave her two meals and a case of bottled water.  “She said she has no water either.”img_2663

Mr. Reynoso is a Vietnam veteran who left his engineering firm to volunteer in North Carolina.  “That’s the price you pay.  It’s unconditional.  The reward is being asked to come back.”

That is the lesson he hopes to impart on his grandson.

If you would like to volunteer for the Red Cross, log onto redcross.org.

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Photos and story: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Volunteers from Across the U.S. Help in N.C.

Red Cross volunteers have come from all over the U. S. to help residents affected by flooding following Hurricane Matthew. About three dozen workers are from Northeast Ohio

Flooding in North Carolina is expected to persist through the weekend, as rivers continue to crest six days post-hurricane.

At the Western Prong Baptist Church in Whiteville, North Carolina on Thursday, October 13, volunteers from several states arrived in Emergency Response Vehicles to deliver meals prepared at the mobile kitchen set up by the Southern Baptist Convention.

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A dozen states were represented by Red Cross volunteers, who traveled to North Carolina, some of them driving for days, to help residents by distributing food, water, and clean-up kits.

Volunteers came o the kitchen in ERVs from Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.  They have been trained by the Red Cross to help deliver mass care during disasters.

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New volunteers can be trained to drive ERVs, run shelters, and many more essential services provided by the Red Cross during times of crisis.  If you’re interested, log onto  redcross.org/neo and click the volunteer tab to begin the application process.

Northeast Ohio Natives Ride Out Hurricane Matthew in a Red Cross Shelter

People, Pets Provided with a Safe Place to Stay, Warm Meals to Eat

 

“I feel safe.”  Southport, North Carolina resident and Northeast Ohio native Sue Fogle made a point of seeking out Red Cross workers at the shelter at a shelter in Shallotte, North Carolina on Friday, October 7, 2016 to express her appreciation for the treatment she and her husband and son received from the Red Cross and its partners.

She and her husband Gary and son Randy were taking refuge from Hurricane Matthew at the storm bore down on the southeastern part of the state.

“It’s not like I’m living in the lap of luxury, but it’s more than I expected,” Sue said as she spoke with Red Cross volunteer Margo Smickles. She said she expected to sleep on the floor, and did not expect to be fed, but she and all the residents at the shelter received cots, blankets, and three warm meals a day during their stay.
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In addition to the 120 people at the shelter, there were 12 dogs, 3 cats and two birds.  The animals were kept separate from the human population, in a room far from the sleeping area, and were monitored by Animal Protective Service Officers. Almost 100 residents stayed in the shelter Friday night, as strong winds and heavy bands of rain began to pound parts of southeastern North Carolina.  By mid-afternoon on Saturday, 120 residents were taking refuge at the shelter.  Many were drawn by the shelter’s long-running offer to house pets.

“It’s just something Animal Protective Services has been doing for a long time,” said Lori Bork, Shelter Manager. Other partners assisting the Red Cross with shelter operations included Brunswick County Social Services, Brunswick County Health and Human Services, the Brunswick County School District and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s office.

By Saturday morning, the Fogle family were among more than 18,000 people who woke up in 183 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters across four states, more than during the height of Superstorm Sandy.

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Sue and Gary Fogle

More than 2,200 trained disaster workers, including  more than two dozen from Northeast Ohio, were mobilized to respond to the needs of residents in the path of Hurricane Matthew. More volunteers are needed. If you are interested in helping the residents affected by Hurricane Matthew, click here.

The Red Cross also deployed 95 emergency response vehicles, 4 from Northeast Ohio, and pre-positioned 94 trailers stocked with relief supplies including water, ready-to-eat meals, cleaning items and comfort kits, insect repellent, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. As soon as it is safe to do so, the Red Cross will be coordinating with partners to support people as they return home.

The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief to residents affected by disasters like Hurricane Matthew. If you’d like to help, visit redcross.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Red Cross, Partners Help Euclid Residents Prepare for and Prevent Home Fires

Lincoln Electric Volunteers, Euclid Fire Department Personnel Participate in Fire Safety Walk

Nearly 100 homes in Euclid now have working smoke alarms, following one of the largest Fire Safety Walks ever held in Northeast Ohio.  283 smoke alarms were installed on Saturday, August 6, 2016, with the enthusiastic help of volunteers from Lincoln Electric and our partners at the Euclid Fire Department.

“We were able to get into 95 homes and install 283 alarms. That is approximately 3 per home,” said John Gareis, Regional Manager of Preparedness and Community Planning in Northeast Ohio.

install1Combined with a similar effort last summer involving Lincoln Electric volunteers and the Euclid Fire Department, almost 650 smoke alarms have been installed in that Euclid neighborhood as part of Operation Save-A-Life, the American Red Cross initiative in Northeast Ohio to reduce the number of casualties in home fires by 25%.  John Gareis continued, “While the total number of alarms is less than last summer, our targeted area has far fewer homes in them – making this install more efficient overall!”

As was the case last summer, Lincoln Electric CEO Chris Mapes worked alongside employees to install the smoke alarms, and to provide residents with valuable fire safety information.  And Mike Parks, Regional CEO of the Red Cross in Northeast Ohio contributed to the effort, along with Red Cross volunteers and staff.

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Mike Parks, Chris Mapes and John Gareis

“The partnership between Lincoln Electric, Euclid Fire, and the American Red Cross is a winner to be sure and a model for others, not only in the Region but throughout the country,” Parks said.  “I know the event had an extremely positive impact, and will help prevent the loss of life due to home fires.”

Last year, more than 100 lives across the country were saved after smoke alarms were installed by the Red Cross and our partners.

Home fires remain the biggest disaster threat to individuals and families in the United States. There are three home fires, on average, in Northeast Ohio every night. Operation Save-A-Life, part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is in direct response to that dire threat, with the Red Cross committing to install 2.5 million free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires, and to educate those residents about fire prevention and preparedness.

More than 12,500 smoke alarms were installed in homes in Northeast Ohio last year.

If you would like a free fire safety inspection of your home, and free installation of smoke alarms, log onto redcross.org/neoosal.  You can also visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect you and your family from fire. You can also become a Red Cross volunteer. And you can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

Euclid - Lincoln Fire Walk 2016

Click on the photo to see a gallery of pictures taken during the Euclid Fire Safety Walk.

Photo credit: Cal Pusateri, American Red Cross Communications Volunteer

Preparedness Day, Tomorrow at Various Locations

In partnership with Dominion East Ohio, we are holding Preparedness Day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 2, 2016, at locations throughout the Northeast Ohio region.

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Stop by and learn the importance of being “Red Cross Ready” in the event of a disaster and pick up a FREE first aid kit (sponsored by Dominion East Ohio)!

Volunteers from the Red Cross and Dominion will be at the following locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

2015 Summit Portage Medina Dominion Day (3)