Smoke Alarms Save Lives

It’s seven years since the Rotary Club of Stowmarket Gipping Valley started assisting the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service in financing the provision of smoke alarms to the elderly and or vulnerable people in the Stowmarket area. Since then, they have encouraged other Suffolk Rotary Clubs to participate in the scheme to service the public in other parts of the county. In that time, with help from the Rotary District 1080, over £65,000 has been donated to the Fire and Rescue Service. This has enabled them to continue offering a full fire safety service.

The photo shows a Ford Ranger vehicle which is used by the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service to tow the Community Engagement Unit to events such as Crucial Crew, which is designed to demonstrate fire safety in the home to school pupils. The Rotary Rondel on the side of the vehicle indicates the level of co-operation between Suffolk Rotary and the Fire and Rescue Service.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has bought a temporary halt to funding, but smoke alarms co-ordinator Peter Andrews of the Rotary Club of Stowmarket Gipping Valley is hopeful that the project will continue once clubs can get back to full fundraising activities. As an example of how valuable this project has been, the Rotary Club of Stowmarket Gipping Valley was approached by a young couple at an event who told them that sadly although they lost their home owing to a serious fire, the alarm had given them sufficient warning to escape.

The club is fully inclusive and although Rotary as an organisation has an undeserved reputation as a preserve of the professions, this has not been true for many years. They welcome anyone of goodwill who enjoys helping others and wishes to enjoy the company of other members. They have also introduced a low-cost associate member scheme.

Further details can be obtained from the membership secretary, Shirley Miller: [email protected]

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