American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

April 25, 2016 Events  No comments

FROSTBURG — Red Cross volunteers and Frostburg Fire Department members scoured the city Saturday, searching for residents in need of smoke alarms.

For six hours, the team of community-minded volunteers knocked on doors of Frostburg residents in an effort to educate about fire safety and fire evacuation plans. The city and nearby areas were visited by teams that arrived by various fire department apparatus.

If no life-saving smoke alarms were present in the home or if the homeowner wanted to replace one, new smoke detectors were provided, courtesy of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. The initiative was designed to reduce the number of fire deaths and injuries across the country by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.

“We have seen firsthand the devastation that fires have on individuals, families and communities,” said Nicholas Greier, executive director of the American Red Cross of Western Maryland.

“Installing these free smoke alarms and handing out educational materials explaining how to create a home fire evacuation plan ensures that our community is better prepared for a home fire and can respond quickly should one occur,” he said.

Saturday’s activity included participation of members of the Mason-Dixon Lions Club at Mount Savage. The Red Cross will take the Home Fire Campaign to that community on June 11, according to Steve Finger, local Red Cross public information officer.

Finger and another volunteer were assigned to contact residents along Parkersburg Road during Saturday’s event not long after an orientation was held at the Frostburg Fire Department. “We had about 25 volunteers there,” he said.

Mason-Dixon Lions Club member Paulette Brotemarkle had just placed two smoke detectors in a house on Washington Street. Another nearby resident received three smoke detectors.
“This is a good project. Taking part in it today will help me when we do our Home Fire Campaign in Mount Savage in June. They say I am a little pushy, but it’s worth it. Smoke detectors can save lives,” said Brotemarkle.

Mary Ann Whetstone expressed gratitude for her new smoke alarms. “This is really a good idea. I know there are a lot of people who don’t have smoke alarms. This is a project that can save some lives,” said the Frostburg resident. “When the smoke alarms go off, you move.”

Frostburg Fire Department Lt. Jason Logsdon said he and Red Cross personnel toured the city recently in preparation for Saturday’s campaign.

“We were contacted by the Red Cross to get involved in this project. It’s a great project for a great reason — smoke detectors can save lives. We are trying to install as many as possible,” said Logsdon.

Smoke alarm installations are available through the Red Cross by calling 443-297-7247 or at

The American Red Cross of the Greater Chesapeake Region provides help to Maryland, Delaware and Virginia families two to three times each day after disasters. The agency provides emergency shelter, food, clothing and counseling and representatives routinely respond to the scene not long after the alert of first-responders by 911 emergency centers.

The FFD plans on more campaigns this summer, so please watch for them in your neighborhood.

Follow staff writer Jeffrey Alderton on Twitter @alderton_jeff.



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