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Record setting pace: Red Cross volunteers respond to 34 residential fires since start of 2017!

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American Red Cross

MILWAUKEE — Officials with the American Red Cross said as of Wednesday, January 11th, they’d responded to 34 residential fires since the start of 2017!

Red Cross officials said that’s a record setting pace.

Fires in 20 counties have ranged from single-family fires to a 40-unit apartment building. The Red Cross has supported more than 200 people financially already this year — as they begin the road to recovery.

In the same time period in 2016, the Red Cross was called to 22 fires to assist 154 people financially.

Whenever requested by fire departments, Red Cross volunteers arrive at fire scenes with a shoulder to lean on, plus the knowledge and resources for immediate needs ranging from a warm place to sleep, food to eat, replacement medications and so much more.

Each volunteer has undergone a background check followed by online, classroom and mentorship training.

“Sharing your time and compassion to help others correlates with many New Year’s resolutions of being healthier, making deeper connections with your community and advancing your career,” said Annie Taff, Volunteer Officer for the Red Cross in a statement. “Several studies have shown volunteering has a positive impact on your overall health and well-being.”

Volunteers begin working local disasters and can then expand into deployments across the country if they choose.


The Red Cross has a goal of reducing fire-related injuries and deaths by 25 percent.

Working smoke alarms reduce your chances of perishing in a home fire by 50%.

Free smoke alarms are available by registering at getasmokealarm.org or by texting the word “Alarm” to 844-811-0100.

If you cannot afford smoke alarms or the thought of climbing a ladder to replace batteries is frightful, allow us to do it,” said Marytha Blanchard, the state’s disaster officer in the statement. “We have a goal to install 13,000 smoke alarms! With that you will also receive tips on fire prevention and help on making an escape plan. It’s a life-saving act.”  Across the country, more than 130 saves have been credited to the smoke alarm program.

The Red Cross relies on your generous donations to help those impacted by fire or natural disaster.

CLICK HERE to make a donation, or to learn more about becoming a volunteer.