The Lafayette Fire Department partnered with American Red Cross on Saturday to install smoke alarms for the annual event Sound the Alarm, Save a Life campaign.
Lafayette firefighters and Red Cross volunteers installed about 50 smoke alarms in homes at Oak Park Estates. Volunteers went door to door, making sure smoke alarms were working and distributing new ones to homes that didn't have one. Lafayette Fire Department spokesperson Alton Trahan said volunteers installed alarms with lithium batteries, meaning they can last for 10 years instead of just several months. Trahan explained that it can take 2-3 minutes to exit a home once a fire starts, so a working smoke alarm is extremely important.
Red Cross Capital West Chapter Executive Director Ed Bush says the campaign's meaning is two-fold: safety and partnership. Their goal is to connect with people where they live, and Bush says during the event Saturday several residents reached out to volunteers instead of vice versa.
"That's exactly why we're here," he said.
The Red Cross also partnered with Acadian Ambulance and Ochsner Health, adding to the sense of community.
"Because of COVID, a lot of us feel very isolated, very cut off from our communities," said Bush. "Sort of unplugged from what's going on around us. We all kind of took a step back in a virtual world. But the Red Cross is a great reminder of the need for continued support and a great way to stay engaged and plugged in."
Trahan added, "Any entity is there to provide back to the community. We know in our hearts that's what we're here to do."
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