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McDowell HSTA Students Receive Fire Safety Training from the American Red Cross

Submitted by Tammy Grubb, McDowell HSTA Field Site Coordinator/Program Specialist

In mid-December, the Mount View Health Sciences & Technology Academy (HSTA) students participated in fire safety training instructed by Angela Akers, American Red Cross Disaster Program Manager for Central and Southern West Virginia.

Delegate Ed Evans who also serves as a Red Cross volunteer and HSTA teacher arranged this event to educate students on this lifesaving subject. Students then went home and educated their families and neighbors.

Students that educated others on their newfound knowledge of fire safety were given information to pass along to those individuals, in return representatives from the American Red Cross will come to their home at a later date and install new smoke alarms.

Mount View HSTA teachers, Cassandra Burkett, Stephen Ford, and Amanda Miller were also very supportive and participated in this event with their students.

Angela Akers, Disaster Program Manager shares important information containing statistics and tips on fire safety below.

*Nearly 170 times a day, Red Cross workers help a family affected by a home fire or other disaster.

*Every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster in local communities.

*Cooking Safety – “Keep an eye on what you fry.” Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or using an open flame.

*Fireplaces, Space Heaters, Baseboards, etc.  “3 feet from the heat.” Furniture, curtains, dish towels and anything that could catch fire are at least 3 feet from any type of heat source.

*Smoking Safety – Never smoke in bed or while on oxygen.

*Electrical and Appliance Safety – Large and small appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets.

*Children Playing with Matches & Lighters – Keep matches and lighters away. This is how Angela Akers, Disaster Program Manager, got involved with Red Cross several years ago. She was the cause of a house fire in her childhood years playing with matches.

*Smoke Alarms -Make sure you have working smoke alarms. Change smoke alarm batteries every year unless it has a long-life battery. Replace smoke alarms every ten years. A combination of working smoke alarms and fire sprinklers decreases the risk of dying in a home fire.

*At least twice a year, use your home fire escape plan to practice your 2-minute drill with all your family members. Practice makes perfect! After each fire drill, mark down your escape time.

Make sure everyone can escape in 2 minutes or less.