Summit County firefighters host open house highlighting importance of smoke alarms |

Summit County firefighters host open house highlighting importance of smoke alarms

Red, White and Blue Fire Department is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5-11, to remind Summit County residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home and testing them monthly.

According to the association, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

“In a fire, seconds count,” said chief James Keating in a news release. “Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out.”

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following smoke alarm messages:

• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

• Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.

• Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old, or sooner if they don’t respond properly.

• Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

The Red, White and Blue will host its annual open house from 4–7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 8. Kids will receive a “Safety Passport” and can get it stamped at the event’s various safety destinations. There will be a live burn demonstration at 5:30 p.m., along with free hot dogs, soup from various Breckenridge restaurants and cornbread.

red, white and blue STAFF AWARDS

The Red, White and Blue Fire District honored its own last weekend during its annual recognition ceremony.

Fire chief Jim Keating, deputy chief Jay Nelson, deputy chief Paul Kuhn, and board members Teresa Perkins and Jim Brook were presented with longevity awards for five, 10 and 15 years of service. Five-year awards went to firefighter Randy Felix, firefighter paramedic Michael Joyce and driver operator Colin Prol.

Ten-year recipients included firefighter Clint Maas and firefighter Tim Caldwell. One 15-year award was presented to captain Jason Kline.

Driver operator Colin Prol was recognized for his promotion from firefighter to driver operator. The district also recognized seven new staff members. These members are firefighter paramedic Allan Cheateaux, division chief of training Doug Cupp, firefighter Brad Gleditsch, firefighter Jeremy Slaughter, firefighter John Wiegand, human resource generalist Amanda Seidler and mitigation intern Scott Silverstein.

The following staff members were acknowledged for their contributions:

Jackie Pike was presented with the support staff member of the year award. She has been with Red, White and Blue for more than 25 years.

Firefighter paramedic Allan Cheateaux received the firefighter of the year award, for his commitment to continued medical training for staff as well as his positive attitude and the leadership he brings to the department. The Barrie Niebergall Peer leadership award was presented to firefighter Clint Maas for his hard work, dedication and exemplary leadership in the organization.

Firefighter paramedic Terrance Campbell and deputy chief Jay Nelson received the courage, commitment, caring award, which is given to staff members who demonstrate a continual effort to affect the community in a positive way.

Chief Keating presented a chief’s leadership award to firefighter Tim Caldwell.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Breckenridge, please contact the Red, White & Blue Fire Department at (970) 453-2474 or To learn more about smoke alarms and “Working Smoke Alarms Saves Lives,” visit NFPA’s Web site at

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