Senator Simcha Felder, Boro Park Jewish Community Council, and the American Red Cross are pleased to welcome Chaveirim to the Fire Safety Awareness Initiative. Since 2017, the partnership program has successfully provided free professional installation of smoke detectors along with personalized safety-evacuation plans to tens of thousands of homes in neighborhoods spanning Senator Felder’s district and beyond. Demand for the program grew so quickly it outpaced the availability of American Red Cross volunteers, resulting in a long waiting list.
This week, at the BPJCC, nearly 50 Chaveirim volunteers attended a professional training by experts from the American Red Cross learning how to install smoke detectors and conduct assessments to create personalized safety evacuation plans for families. These newly trained volunteers will begin working immediately to address the waitlist over the next few months, with scheduled trainings in the upcoming weeks to accommodate additional Chaveirim volunteers who expressed interest in the program.
“The positive feedback we receive from families who take part in this program is overwhelming and the continued critical need is undeniable, so I was intent on finding a way to meet and exceed the current demand. I met with Avi Greenstein to come up with a plan to jumpstart the program and that’s when we decided to ask Chaveirim, one of the largest volunteer organizations in Brooklyn, to join the Fire Safety Awareness Initiative. I am so thankful to Rabbi Kohn who was happy to help and to the Chaveirim volunteers who immediately came onboard,” explains Senator Felder.
“The community needs this valuable program, and I am so grateful to Senator Felder and Chaveirim for coming together to support this critical Fire Safety Awareness Initiative. Our new partnership ensures that families on the waiting list will have smoke detectors installed quickly and gives us the manpower we need to expand and help even more families,” said Avi Greenstein.
“Our volunteers have seen firsthand the devastation wrought by fires and look forward to being part of this incredible initiative. The knowledge we gained from the American Red Cross training was eye opening and we are excited to share it with the community. Every life is precious and if we save even one, all our efforts will have been worth it,” said Rabbi Kohn, Founder of Chaveirim.
“On the last night of Pesach, a blazing house fire shook the Boro Park community. Baruch Hashem there were no serious injuries, but suddenly a family with eight children was homeless! It underscores the importance of this initiative,” said Senator Felder. “It takes mere seconds for a fire to consume everything around it. Smoke alarms save lives. If you already registered, there is no reason to call again, your installation is on the way, but if you have not I urge you to register at BPJCC, 718-972-6600.”
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Kudos for working on a serious problem in the community. How many families have monthly fire drills? Check their smoke detector batteries? Have flexible escape ladders for second story escapes? Fire extinguishers in the kitchen or near their heating units?