Thursday, October 20, 2016

Teaming up with Air Force Academy Cadets to Save Lives

Cadets get organized for Smoke Alarm Installation Day.
Photo by Joan Green/American Red Cross
The American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado teamed up with cadets from the Air Force Academy to help save lives. Over three hundred cadets gathered in the Field House parking lot at the Air Force Academy early Friday morning, October 14, 2016. They joined with volunteers from the American Red Cross as part of the Academy's Day of Service.

"Seeing over 300 cadets all at one time is a little overwhelming," said Laura Kozuzsek, Prepare CO: American Red Cross Program Development Specialist/AmeriCorps VISTA. "Knowing they were ready to help us with our Home Fire Campaign was amazing."
Academy Cadet Mark Brown installs a home
smoke detector at the residence of Thelma Strom.
Photo by Joe Coleman/American Red Cross

Putting together an event of that magnitude was no small task. Especially considering that Kozuszek has been with the Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado for only about 3 months. She, along with the support of Sally Broomfield, Disaster Program Manager, organized the event from top to bottom.

Once the cadets were organized into teams, indoctrinated with the plan and given the tools to get the work done they were loaded into vehicles and headed out. By 10 A.M. everyone was in place and the work began across much of the Colorado Springs area. Each team of cadets and Red Crossers went door-to-door installing alarms, checking alarms and providing fire safety information. By the end of the day nearly 350 smoke alarms had been installed.

"I feel good about what we accomplished today," Kozuszek said. "The cadets went right to work and did a great job."

Big shout outs go to the following organizations for their support for our home fire campaign:

Academy Cadets Chiu (left) and Ermitano provide
homeowner Blanca Gomalez with Red Cross
 home fire safety and emergency preparedness
materials following the installation of a new
smoke detector in her home. Photo by R.W.Firth/
American Red Cross
Habitat for Humanity
Cimarron Hills Fire Department
Fountain Fire Department
School District 11
School District 49
Olympic training Center
U.S.A.F. Academy
American Red Cross of Northern Colorado
American Red Cross of Mile High Area
American Red Cross of Western Colorado

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign seeks to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent over the five year perid that began in the fall of 2014. Since its inception more than 300,000 smoke alarms have been installed across the country with nearly 8000 in the Colorado and Wyoming region.

If you would like to help with the Home Fire Campaign you can donate to the Red Cross, partner with the Red Cross as an organization  or volunteer to help install alarms as an individual. Visit

To see more photos from the October 14 Smoke Alarm Installation Day visit out Flickr album:
Home Fire Campaign_Oct 14, 2016.

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