With World War I raging overseas and events such as the Great Flood of 1913 still fresh in the memories of many in the region, leaders throughout Northern Miami Valley set about to find a way to protect the citizens of the area. Their solution: The establishment of American Red Cross chapters throughout the region.
In 1917, Red Cross chapters came into existence in Darke, Miami, Shelby, Clark, Champaign and Logan counties, and for the last 100 years the Red Cross has been helping prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of disasters in the area. From health and safety classes to supporting members of the military, the Red Cross has strived to make communities safer and more prepared.
During this centennial anniversary year, the Red Cross is reminding people that they can contribute to the cause through:
*Time: Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Red Cross, helping save lives, providing lifesaving services and leadership, and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.
*Money: The mission and work of the Red Cross is as important today as it was in 1917, and the way the agency funds that work is the same as well – through the generosity of the people of the community.
*Memory: Over the last 100 years, almost everyone has been impacted directly or indirectly by the Red Cross. People can share in the centennial celebration by sharing their Red Cross story. A special story submission form is available on the Centennial Celebration page on the website RedCross.org/NMVO.
The community also can interact with the Red Cross on social media, Twitter (@NMVORedCross) and Facebook (/American-Red-Cross-Northern-Miami-Valley-Ohio) and using the hashtag #NMVORedCross100 when posting.
Red Cross installs free smoke detectors
With fires burning so much faster and hotter, occupants have just two to three minutes to escape a home once a fire starts. Smoke alarms, especially when combined with an escape plan and knowing what to do once they go off, really do save lives.
“The best way to escape a home fire is to know the home is on fire,” says Lynne Gump, executive director of the Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross, “and the best way to know if there is a fire is to have a working smoke alarm. Two or three minutes to escape a fire may seem like a lot of time, but it’s not, especially while dealing with blinding, toxic smoke. Smoke alarms give you extra time and increase your chances of survival by 50 percent.”
The Red Cross has a nationwide campaign in which it is installing free smoke alarms in any home as a way to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires. To date, more than 150 lives have been saved as a result of the effort. In the six-county Northern Miami Valley area, the Red Cross installed more than 1,700 free smoke alarms last year.