Alaska Red Cross needs volunteers to help replace smoke alarms

    "We've sat and held enough peoples' hands while their entire worlds fell apart with the fire along with everything they own; we don't want it compounded by the loss of life."

    The Red Cross is mounting a campaign to check and replace smoke alarms in peoples' homes free of charge, but they need volunteers to do it.

    Alaska Red Cross Executive Director Lori Wilson and Southeast Disaster Program Specialist Andrew Bogar were guests on Capital Chat yesterday.

    "We've sat and held enough peoples' hands while their entire worlds fell apart with the fire along with everything they own," Wilson explained. "We don't want it compounded by the loss of life; smoke alarms are your fighting chance. Our initiative is to reduce the number of deaths due to smoke alarm by 25% or more by 2020. The only way to do that is to get smoke alarms into peoples' homes."

    Bogar provided more details on the lack of specific types of volunteers.

    "Since I've been here, I've been coming in and asking for volunteers," said Bogar. "On the disaster side, we've got a great team of volunteers that have responded to house fires and were available for the Sitka mudslide. I feel wonderful and can't do it without them, but we need help on the preparedness front with getting individuals and families informed about house fires and what to do during an earthquake or floods. I'd rather not have the disaster in the first place; I'd rather not have the loss of life. I need motivated volunteers that will come and help me install smoke detectors."

    If you're interested in volunteering to help out with the checking and installation of smoke alarms, you can contact Andrew Bogar at (907) 347-5481.

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