HAZARD — In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, the Eastern Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross, along with several local organizations, installed smoke detectors in the Lothair community and surrounding areas for King Day of Service. Their aim is to help reduce deaths by residential fires.
The Eastern Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross partnered with Kentucky Power, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, Lothair Baptist Church, Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Church, First Presbyterian Church of Hazard, University of Pikeville, and Hazard Community and Technical College. A host of other volunteers also joined the campaign in honor of King Day of Service.
After being trained on how to properly install a smoke detector, the volunteers set out to install them in the communities of Lothair and Walkertown. As these local volunteers installed the smoke detectors, the Red Cross, fire departments and volunteers from across the United States traveled to neighborhoods that are high risk for fires and installed smoke detectors. They also educated residents on what to do when a fire breaks out in their home.
All of this is a part of Red Cross’s Home Fire Campaign. The campaign is in its second of a five-year campaign. Red Cross developed the five-year campaign with the goal to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent.
“Every seven minutes Red Cross responds to a house fire in this country. A lot of people don’t event realize we respond to house fires,” said Executive Director of the Eastern Kentucky Chapter of the Red Cross Joanna King.
The Eastern Kentucky Chapter of Red Cross covers 27 counties.
During 2016, The Eastern Chapter of Red Cross installed 1,526 smoke detectors in 506 homes. They helped 1,229 youth prepare for disaster by sending them home to their families to help better plan for emergency situations. The Eastern Chapter donated 932 units of blood. They assisted 26 military families with emergencies. A total of 359 volunteers worked a total of 4,074 hours supporting The Eastern Kentucky Chapter’s response.
For more information on the Red Cross and how to get involved, please visit redcross.org.
TJ Caudill is a reporter with The Hazard Herald. He can be reached at 606-629-3245.