Volunteers Gather on ‘Coldest Morning of 2020’ for Smoke Detector Campaign

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Community leaders, first responders and volunteers gathered at the Henderson Fire Department this morning for the day’s kickoff of Vance County’s “Sound the Alarm” event, an in-home smoke detector and fire safety inspection campaign sponsored by the American Red Cross.

During the first half of the day, volunteers visited homeowners in the county who made previous appointments for an inspection. The focus then shifted to the City of Henderson residents who had not previously been visited by the Henderson Fire Department during its 2019-2020 smoke detector campaign.

Participants included local fire departments, churches, Henderson Collegiate representatives, Red Cross volunteers, NC Central University students and community volunteers.

Thanking the volunteers for coming out on “the coldest morning so far in 2020,” American Red Cross Executive Director Vicki LaBelle expressed her appreciation for those willing to serve others.

“I appreciate y’all being here to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. on this day of service to help keep folks in the Henderson area and Vance County safe and to help us prevent and reduce the injuries and deaths related to home fires,” LaBelle said.

LaBelle further thanked participating fire departments who work with the American Cross year-round to keep families safe from fires and provided for in the case of an emergency. Fire stations participating in the event included the Henderson Fire Department, Cokesbury, Drewry, Hicksboro, Watkins, Epsom, Townsville and the Vance County Fire Department.

LaBelle also thanked Chick-fil-A of Henderson for supporting the cause by donating lunch for all volunteers.

Henderson Fire Chief Steve Cordell also addressed the crowd gathered at the station: “I can’t express enough how important it is for every home to have an operating smoke alarm; statistics show that it saves lives,” he said.

Gordon Wilder, chair of the Vance County Board of Commissioners, praised the high turnout for the day of service and reminded the crowd of the important role first responders play in the overall health and safety of a community. “I want our citizens to know how important our first responders – our firefighters, volunteer firefighters, EMS and others – are and how important they are to this county,” Wilder said. “We appreciate you.”

Those interested in having their home inspected can make an appointment with the fire department or can request a fire alarm through the American Red Cross by visiting www.soundthealarm.org/enc.

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