Cold and rain fail to dampen the spirit of volunteers
More than 90 families on Cleveland’s west side can sleep more soundly, knowing there are now working smoke alarms in their homes. The alarms were installed by volunteers from various community groups and corporate partners, who worked with the Red Cross and the Cleveland Fire Department on the first Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event in Northeast Ohio on Saturday.
The goal of the nationwide program is to save lives.
“Through the combined efforts, we were able to install more than 234 smoke alarms,” said Tim O’Toole, Red Cross Regional Disaster Program Officer. “91 families in the Clark Fulton neighborhood slept safer last night due to the efforts of our combined partnership.”
Chief Angelo Calvillo of the Cleveland Division of Fire and city councilwoman Jasmin Santana, who represents the neighborhood, helped kick-off the event.
“People don’t realize that when a house fire occurs, you only have a couple of minutes to get out,” said Chief Calvillo. “An alarm will actually notify you and your family to get out of the house.”
More than 30 volunteers dispersed throughout the neighborhood to help residents create escape plans and to install smoke alarms. Among the groups represented by volunteers were the Metrohealth System, Prince Hall Masons, and the Red Cross Club from Case Western Reserve University.
A Tobi Oshomoji, a sophomore from Nashville, Tennesee, and Austin Zhang, a freshman from Houston, Texas were on a team of installers going door-to-door on Trent Avenue.
“It’s about stepping outside University Circle and interacting with the community,” said Austin. “Cleveland has welcomed us, and we’d like to give back.”
You can see more photos from Saturday’s Sound the Alarm event here, in our Flickr photo album.
The city of Cleveland is one of more than 100 cities nationwide where Sound the Alarm events are taking place between April 28 and May 13. Volunteers and partners will also help install alarms in Akron, Maple Heights, and Slavic Village during the next three weeks. For more information or to volunteer, visit soundthealarm.org/neo.