Norman Township Fire Dept. ensures safety in area homes

The Norman Township Fire Department, partnered with the Red Cross, installed more than 60 smoke detectors in 19 homes free of charge to area residents on Saturday. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

The Norman Township Fire Department, partnered with the Red Cross, installed more than 60 smoke detectors in 19 homes free of charge to area residents on Saturday. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

NORMAN TWP. — With the hope they’ll never have to be used, the Norman Township Fire Department ensured the safety of 19 homes Saturday by installing more than 60 smoke detectors free of charge to residents in the area.

“It’s one of those things you hope you never need,” said fire chief John Gramza, “but if just one of these helps save a life, it will be well worth the time and effort spent today.”

The smoke detectors were provided through a nationwide program run by the American Red Cross and funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Last Monday I came to the fire department meeting and told them the Red Cross will provide these smoke detectors if the department is willing to go around and install them,” said Dan Cummings, a local Red Cross volunteer. “The chief jumped right on it. It’s a service we’re proud to give together.”

After lunch and a briefing at the Wellston fire hall, the crew of nearly a dozen department members set out to install the top-of-the-line detectors in the homes of residents who agreed to benefit from the program.

“As people who provide services for Norman Township, whether it be ambulance or fire, we’ve got a pretty good idea of our area’s low income housing,” Gramza said. “This was kind of short notice, but we were able to get out and ask residents if they’d be willing to let us into their homes today.

“We’re going to 19 houses, so that’s 19 residents or families that will be that much more protected,” he said, citing a recent rash of fatalities due to house fires in the area. “Manistee County unfortunately has had at least three deaths in the past six months or so attributed to fires.

“We’re installing these in hopes that they’ll prevent that,” Gramza added. “We’re looking at trying to save lives. That’s what today is all about.”

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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