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Lara Kiefer, executive director of the local chapter of American Red Cross, was invited to provide fire safety education to the children at Olive Tree Afterschool Care in Loudonville by administrator Kristy Spreng. Information was sent home with the children to educate their family on practicing fire drills, having two means of egress from all rooms in the home and having a meeting place outside for everyone's safety. Pet safety was also addressed.
All families received information on how to obtain smoke alarms from The American Red Cross if needed. As part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign in 2014, the Red Cross has documented over 215 saved lives in the United States. The local American Red Cross has partnered with every Ashland County Fire Department on the smoke alarm campaign and any resident can call their local department for more information.
Every day, home fires kill more people than natural disasters, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. The Red Cross wants to improve the odds of survival, and that's why the Home Fire Campaign was launched in 2014.
"The start of 2017 has tragically been marked by an unusually high number of large home fires, and the Red Cross has been there to help these families," said Gail McGovern, Red Cross President and CEO. "Home fires cause needless death, injuries and terrible heartbreak. But there is something we can do. With our amazing partners, we've rallied thousands of volunteers across the country in high-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries, teach kids about fire safety, and help families create escape plans. Behind all of these efforts is the possibility to save another life."
The Red Cross is also asking that every household in America take two simple steps that can help to save lives from home fires: Practice fire drills at home and check smoke alarms monthly. Every household should create a fire escape plan and practice it until everyone can escape in less than two minutes. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
The local Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from United Way of Ashland County and Mohican Area Community Fund.
Olive Tree Afterschool Care provides care for children 5-12 years old and is located in New Hope Community Church at 637 N. Market St. in Loudonville. Spreng started the program in 2016 as she saw a need for safe, reliable childcare services in the Loudonville-Perrysville area. Recently the center completed a state inspection and is in need of several carbon monoxide detectors for their facility. Anyone willing to donate a unit or funds to support the purchase of one, please contact Spreng at 419-994-2080. Olive Tree Care is now accepting registration for the 2017-2018 school year. Find them on Facebook.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or call the American Red Cross Lake Erie Heartland Chapter headquarters in Wooster at 330-264-9383 or visit us on Twitter @RedCross.