It started out sunny and cool as volunteers gathered at the City Hall Chambers building in Rocky Ford on the first day of December. Red Cross volunteers arrived in Red Cross trucks to join the Rocky Ford Fire Department and close to 30 community volunteers. The goal, to make homes safer by installing free smoke alarms and providing preparedness education.
Registration and training were the first items to accomplish. Nearly 30 volunteers from the community and as far away as La Junta stepped up to make the event successful. Shannon Lovato brought 5 students from the Goal Academy. The online school’s support center is in La Junta and Shannon saw this as an opportunity to show students the importance and value of community service. “We have a pretty diverse student population who study online so something like this brings them together.” She said. “Like any other school, we want to use every teachable moment that we can.”
Local volunteers saw the details of the event on traditional and social media and figured it would be a worthwhile thing to do on a Saturday in Rocky Ford. One volunteer said that he had seen the event announced on the local news, looked at his calendar for Saturday and committed himself to help. “I like volunteering and helping people,” he said. “It makes me feel good and our community stronger.”
The teams went door-to-door in the areas north of the railroad tracks between 2nd and 14th Streets. By 2PM the teams had knocked on hundreds of doors. Of the homes visited, 40 were made safer by the installation of 80 smoke alarms. Some of the alarms that were replaced were vintage 1970. (See video below)
“This was a very successful event,” said Ray Gonzales, Fire Chief for the Rocky Ford Fire Department. “Some of the homes had no alarms at all. Some alarms were covered with paint and some were covered in cob webs.” To see more photos click here to visit our Flickr page.