Sumter Fire Department honored at city council meeting for life-saving smoke alarm installations

BY KAYLA ROBINS
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 3/7/19

The Red Cross honored  the Sumter Fire Department for smoke alarm installations in recent months that have saved lives during a presentation at Sumter City Council's meeting on Tuesday …

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Sumter Fire Department honored at city council meeting for life-saving smoke alarm installations

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The Red Cross honored  the Sumter Fire Department for smoke alarm installations in recent months that have saved lives during a presentation at Sumter City Council's meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Agenda item: Steve Shumake, Disaster Action Team coordinator for the American Red Cross Central SC Chapter, gave a presentation to council members thanking the Sumter Fire Department for their partnership in installing smoke alarms for free in homes.

Background: The Red Cross and fire department have been working together on a smoke alarm installation campaign for several years, including installing the devices throughout a neighborhood where a father was killed and his three children and their mother were injured in a house fire on Bowman Drive last July.

Division Chief Johnnie Rose and Fire Prevention Specialist Selena Ruth Smith work with the Red Cross to go into homes, including where there may be a language barrier, to install the smoke alarms and educate residents about fire safety and the importance of having an escape plan.

Shumake presented six plaques to the fire department, represented on Tuesday by Rose, Smith and Chief Karl Ford, saying they represent seven residences and 18 lives that have been saved because an alarm they had installed went off, allowing those inside to escape in under two minutes.

Shumake made a similar presentation of thanks at a Sumter County Council meeting last week and said he intends to thank the Shaw Air Force Base Fire Department for their assistance in the rural Dalzell and Cherryvale areas.

Discussion: In thanking Shumake for the recognition, Chief Ford gave credit to Rose and Smith, two people who "care about the lives that they save on a daily basis."

"They give 125 percent," he said. "Not 110, not 100."

Vote: No votes needed for presentations.