Town/Gown and MLK Day of Service in Richmond, Kentucky

This is a special report from Campus Firewatch for the readers of the ITGA Dateline Newsletter.

Be sure to watch the video at the end to see how one student at University of Colorado – Fort Collins was so inspired by her experience!

Learn more about the Town/Gown Fire Safety Community Service Project.

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Podcast Interview

You can listen to a podcast interview with Richmond Fire Fighter/Public Information Officer Corey Lewis about what they did in Richmond on CRR Radio.

The Town/Gown Fire Safety Community Service Project, which grew out of an original grant project in 2010 by the Michael H. Minger Foundation and Campus Firewatch, is now in its second year. This year, through a partnership between Campus Firewatch, First Alert and the Michael H. Minger Foundation, we were able to bring it to more communities across the nation.

Twenty-five communities were selected to be a part of this year’s project, and the following is what they did in Richmond, Kentucky, to take it to the next level.

Richmond, Kentucky

by Firefighter and PIO Corey Lewis, Richmond Fire Department

On Monday, January 21, 53 Eastern Kentucky University students from four student organizations partnered with the Richmond Fire Department to honor the life, legacy, and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King. Our hope was to empower the students, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move closer to the ideology of Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”  

Students from the Association of Fire Science Technicians, Kappa Delta Tau Sorority, Collegiate Women in Emergency Services, and Theta Chi Fraternity joined together to engage community members in conversation about home fire safety problems as well as install much-needed smoke alarms.  The Richmond Fire Department hosted the event as part of the Town/Gown Fire Safety Community Service Project. Richmond firefighters along with EKU students came together to learn valuable fire safety information, assessing the risk of an occupant, and basic smoke alarm information and installation. 

The day culminated in an afternoon of canvassing high-risk neighborhoods and areas of our community, offering to install smoke alarms, checking existing alarms, and engaging the community in fire safety conversations.  In the two and a half hours we installed 70 smoke alarms and 10 carbon monoxide alarms, removed 34 expired alarms, and made 25 referrals for future installations.  The temperature in the morning was 6 degrees and at the time of installation was only 22 degrees and the day before there was conversation with department staff about cancelling the event.  After much discussion and consultation with the student organizations we decided to go forward with the event.  The local CBS affiliate shared our story