Smoke Detector Program completes distribution

Brenda L. Swecker, developer of the Smoke Detector Program, would like to announce the completion of its 13th year of distribution.

The program, the brainchild of Swecker, a 21-year veteran firefighter, began in 2000. The first distribution was held at George Ward Elementary School where 30 kindergarten students received smoke detectors at their end of the year ceremony.

Several expansions have been made to the program since its inception. The program now serves four elementary schools in Randolph County.

This year the program distributed 78 smoke detectors to kindergarten students from George Ward Elementary, Homestead Elementary, Valley Head Elementary, and Pickens School. The program also distributed 76 fire extinguishers to students who completed the 5th grade at the above schools. Since its inception in 2000 the program has distributed a total of 550 smoke detectors, and 390 fire extinguishers free-of-charge to area children.

This year’s distribution was completely funded through a grant from the Snowshoe Foundation. The Snowshoe Foundation has been the sole sponsor for this program for several years.

Even though the Smoke Detector Program operates through the Valley Head Volunteer Fire Department, it relies solely on grant monies from outside sources and does not receive any funding from the local fire department.

Families are encouraged to perform basic maintenance on their detectors by changing the batteries as recommended, periodically checking the charge status of their fire extinguishers, and performing fire escape drills with their children. If you have any questions about the program, please call Brenda L. Swecker at 304-335-4367.