Fire Corps Volunteers Still Serving Sun Lakes Community

Brian Curry

The Fire Corps volunteers of the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority are still assisting the Sun Lakes community in a variety of ways, such as teaching CCR (Cardio Cerebral Resuscitation) and providing fire inspections (by Arizona state-certified inspectors). But two programs they administer that are long running and impactful are the Home Safety Assessment Program (HSAP) and the Residential Lockbox Program.

The Home Safety Assessment Program sends AFMA-trained volunteers into Sun Lakes homes where they look for home hazards and make recommendations to remedy those hazards to homeowners. Randy Smith, the Fire Corps lead for the HSAP, explained it: “Our men and women basically do a safety walk-through and make recommendations based on our findings.” Some things that they will check are your smoke detectors: Are they in working order? Are they placed correctly within your home? Home fire extinguishers: Do you have one? Are they properly charged? Do you know how to use them? Are they placed properly in your home?

The HSAP volunteers will also check your circuit breakers and GFCI outlets and determine if they are clearly identified. Does your hot water heater and furnace have a three-foot clearance from clutter or flammable material? The team checks for other potential hazards, as well as possible tripping locations.

Smith emphasized, “We do not endorse or recommend any specific safety product or companies. We simply offer you an assessment of how safe your home is and the steps you can take to make it safer for you.”

Another thing that can make your home safer for you is the Residential Lockbox Program. These lockboxes have keys that only the on-duty fire chief and captain have and are designed so the emergency personnel can open your door in the event of an emergency within.

Joe Sarro, the overall lead for the Sun Lakes Fire Corps program, explained: “If you cannot reach the door to let our crews in, either because of a fall or you’ve fallen unconscious, they can easily make access and without the damage of forcible entry. The same goes for when you’re not home, whether it’s smoke coming out the windows or water coming out the door. We could tell you many stories of how these lockboxes have saved minutes and sometimes lives.”

When an emergency alarm is activated for your address, the computer terminals on the engines and ambulances notify the responding crews that you have a lockbox, saving precious time.

If you are interested in either having a home safety assessment or getting a lockbox, contact the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority at 623-544-5400. Advise them which of the programs you are interested in and that you live in Sun Lakes.