Volunteers needed to Sound the Alarm

Event to install smoke detectors in homes

Meals on Wheels of Odessa and the American Red Cross of the Permian Basin need volunteers to start raising the alarm.

The two organizations are teaming up as part of the Red Cross Sound the Alarm campaign, an annual event by the American Red Cross that helps install free smoke alarms in homes for those in need. The event also helps educate about fire safety and the importance of an escape plan during a fire.

“Homes with smoke alarms have a 50 percent better chance of getting out on time without serious injury or death,” Tracy Austin, Executive Director of the Red Cross of the Permian Basin, said. “It makes a huge difference.”

The event is part of a larger Home Fire Campaign started by the Red Cross in 2014 to make residences safer. More than 2.6 million smoke alarms have been installed since its inception.

Partnering with Meals on Wheels, Austin said it was a natural collaboration as many of the residents the nonprofit serves either have family who live far away, have no family, or are unable to leave their homes.

The event is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Nov. 18, and will start at the Meals on Wheels of Odessa building, 1314 E. Fifth Street. Craig Stoker, Executive Director for Meals on Wheels, said they are seeking 50 volunteers to help install 350 smoke alarms across 117 homes.

Additionally, smoke alarms specifically for people who are deaf will also be available for installation.

Volunteers will be split into teams of three to go to different homes. No experience is needed as training will be offered on-site before volunteers start their routes. Breakfast will be provided by the Red Cross and lunch will be provided by Rosa’s Café.

“The community likes to see agencies working together to solve different problems,” Stoker said. “Come out, meet your neighbors and like-minded people who want to help.”

Meals on Wheels serves more than 800 residents across Ector County through 36 routes. Needing at least 30 volunteers daily to deliver all meals, Stoker said illness, school and other events cause people to miss their volunteer days. Having a list of backup drives is something he is hoping to add to during this event.

“If someone has availability on a certain day, we’ll try to find something that fits their schedule,” he said.

If you go

  • What: Sound the Alarm.
  • When: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 18.
  • Where: Meals on Wheels of Odessa, 1314 E. Fifth St.
  • Call 432-333-6451 for more information.