RFD giving away fans, smoke detectors

Citizens trying to beat the sweltering temperatures will soon get some aid from the Russellville Fire Department.

Senator Roger Bedford administered a $1,000 check to the RFD, who plans on using the funds to purchase box fans and smoke detectors in an effort to give back to the community.

Russellville Fire Chief Joe Mansell said Sen. Bedford, Mayor Troy Oliver, city council members and Lanny Norris with State Farm Insurance have all supported the cause to furnish Russellville residents with tools to beat the heat and stay safe this summer.

“We had gotten a check for $500 which went to our smoke detector program earlier this year,” Mansell said. “Now with these funds we split it down the middle and purchased box fans and some additional smoke detectors to give out to those in need.”

Mansell said his guys have gone on calls in the community and visited people who have been without a source of cooling.

Mansell said he and Fire Marshal Bobby Malone have taken the initiative to push and get those needs taken care of.

“As far as the box fans go, we want to make sure that those who are elderly, financially strapped and those with children get first crack at the box fans,” Malone said. “As of now we were able to purchase 33 fans and whoever is in need of one we encourage them to come down and pick one up.”

Mansell said he realizes the fans may not blow cold air, but said its better than nothing.

“The weather this time of year can get scorching hot and there is no need for someone to just sit in this heat with no source of air,” Mansell said. “It’s probably not going to be cold air blowing through the fans, but I’d rather have some sort of air on me rather than nothing.”

Mansell said the smoke detector program has been going on for several months now and his department is still working on their goal of making sure there is at least one working smoke detector in every household inside the city limits.

Malone said the smoke detector program is for everybody.

“We started the program just targeting the elderly and those who were not financially able,” Malone said. “Now we have broken the city down into sections and have started up a door-to-door program making sure everyone had at least one working smoke detector in-house. Some households have had one installed but wasn’t working properly and we have been able to fix them or install a new one. I really believe this program will save a life one day.”

Mansell said his department is motivated and will hopefully reach their goal in the near future.

Mansell said local State Farm representative Lanny Norris has aided the cause and turned the department to the 10-year battery system which means each smoke detector installed by the RFD can last up to 10-years without having to replace it.

Malone said he is offering a new program, which consists of free home fire inspections.

Malone said he has begun looking at residences and making recommendations on fire safety inside homes to prevent a potential hazard.

For more information on the free box fan and smoke detector give-aways or if you would like a free home fire inspection call the RFD at 256-332-8761. If no one is able to take the call enter extension 11 and leave a message including your name and telephone number.

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