Our View: Bluegrass Red Cross chapter saving lives for past century

It seems only fitting in month in which the Bluegrass Area Chapter of the American Red Cross is gearing up to celebrate 100 years of service that the organization has been feverishly working to help people put their lives back together in the communities it has served for the past century.

The organization has been focused on relief efforts tied to last week’s spring storms that hit hard in 19 Kentucky counties. Neighboring Estill County had more than 200 homes sustain some level of damage with nearly two dozen suffering major damage or being considered total losses.

The Red Cross has been committed to lending a hand there but haven’t lost sight of the milestone year.

All the chapters of the Kentucky Region of the American Red Cross were formed in 1917 and will celebrate the anniversary throughout the year, especially in March as it is Red Cross Month in recognition of the national organization that impacts millions of lives across the world.

Locally, the Bluegrass Chapter serves Adair, Bell, Bourbon, Boyle, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Estill, Fayette, Garrard, Harlan, Harrison, Jackson, Jessamine, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Lincoln, Madison, McCreary, Mercer, Nicholas, Owsley, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Scott, Wayne, Whitley and Woodford counties.

The organization is working on a variety of ways to commemorate this historic milestone but a key part here in Clark County will be in simply continuing its mission of saving lives.

Part of this will be the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 25.

It is an important initiative designed to address some startling statistics including the fact seven people die in home fires each day in America.

The Red Cross is teaming up with Winchester Fire-EMS and other community groups to visit selected neighborhoods to install smoke free of charge.

This is part of a nationwide initiative began in 2014 that was focused on reducing the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over a five-year span by canvassing neighborhoods, installing smoke alarms and delivering fire prevention education such as how to develop an escape plan.

Statistics show that the chances of making it safely out of a house fire decreases significantly after the first two minutes.

That is why smoke detectors are so important.

To sign up or request additional information, contact Steve Powell at 859-227-7458 or steve.powell@redcross.org or Rich DeAngelis at 859-497-6420 or rich.deangelis@redcross.org.

The Bluegrass Area Chapter of the American Red Cross has been there for Kentuckians for 100 years and we hope to see the organization celebrate for decades to come.