American Red Cross Honors Local Heroes for Saving Lives

Part of their honors came from their involvement with the "Sound the Alarm" program

FARGO, N.D. — 2017 was a challenging year for the American Red Cross, as they had to clean up the wreckage from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

To help the organization rally, many volunteers from the Red River Valley did their part to provide relief to people around the nation.

All of this makes Lynn Speral proud to be a part of the Red Cross.

“I think it’s important to recognize people because most of these people don’t want to be recognized and they’re very humble individuals and they’re doing what they do because they want to help other people,” said Speral, who is the Regional CEO of the American Red Cross for the Dakotas Region.

Even national members of the Red Cross take notice of the dedication in the Dakotas through initiatives like the “Sound the Alarm” campaign.

“We firmly believe that our core mission is the alleviation of human suffering and so many individuals in North Dakota and vulnerable communities can’t afford that $15 smoke alarm and so we’ll go door to door to install those alarms to save their lives quite frankly,” said Jono Anzalone, the Vice President of International Services for the American Red Cross.

Ever since the program began back in 2014, the American Red Cross has installed over one million free smoke detectors in homes across the country.

Nearly 4,500 of those alarms have been installed right here in the Dakotas. But Anzalone hopes the number of smoke alarms in homes nationwide continues to grow.

“2500 people a year throughout the United States still lose their lives due to single family home fires and we firmly believe that that’s completely preventable,” said Anzalone.

The nationwide goal falls right in line with the results Speral has seen in the region.

“We’re over 480 lives saved, that means we were in the person’s home, they had a fire, and they got out because they were alerted with an alarm. We’re very proud and honored to provide that as a preparedness initiative,” said Speral.

Fargo Fire Chief Steve Dirksen was one of the local heroes honored by the American Red Cross due to his assistance in organizing the “Sound the Alarm” campaign.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News