Friday, March 28, 2014

Team Firestopper - Onyx Edition

Hello all!

A couple months ago, I met with a gentleman in the tiny town of Onyx, California to talk about fire safety and home fire prevention. He expressed a need for his community, informing me that he and a lot of other people in the town did not have proper fire prevention utilities, such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Considering that much of my duties as an AmeriCorps member deal with preparedness, this struck me as something that needed to be fixed. With the help of my supervisor, Team Firestopper sprung into action. Two weeks ago, I and a group of wonderful volunteers from the Kern River Valley canvassed the Onyx community, handing out flyers with vital fire safety information to each and every home in the area. Also on these flyers was an invitation to a Community Fire Safety and Prevention Education course that I will be leading this Sunday, March 30th at Weldon Methodist Church just down the road from Onyx. 

To make it easier for the residents to attend, I allotted three shifts of these Fire Safety courses for them to choose from, the first from 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m., the second from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., and the third from 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. At the end of their shift they will take home a bag that has a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, surge protector, and a fire extinguisher inside, and they can then install and use each of these utilities in their homes, making them more resilient to home fires. I am pleased to say that in less than two weeks over 30 Kern River Valley residents have registered to attend the course! Words can’t express how excited I am to be able to teach these people the importance of fire safety, and help them all prevent home fires in their community. One of the greatest perks of my position as an AmeriCorps NPRC member with the American Red Cross is that I get an incredible amount of those warm fuzzy feelings that one gets from helping others. Thank you AmeriCorps, thank you American Red Cross, and thank you Central Valley!

Samantha Minks
AmeriCorps NPRC 2013-2014
Preparedness Coodinator
American Red Cross - Kern Chapter


  1. I really want some suggestion from professional people in my effort to organize a local community for educating people regarding fire safety. No money is involved for the subscription or anything. It should be a 5 days get-together kinda meeting where a person (associated with fire department) give speeches on how to put out the fire in home etc. How can I accomplish that? Any advice will be appreciated.

    Best Regards,
    Arnold Brame
    Fire Risk Assessment Training

  2. Hello! I was wondering if you would be interested in joining my local blog network – Central Valley Connection - that is set to launch mid-May?

    Central Valley Connection is made up of local bloggers, businesses and individuals sharing their experiences, perspectives and insight into life in the Central Valley.

    Seeking to serve the community, Central Valley Connection will offer a detailed community calendar of events for the entire Central Valley, and has plans to regularly partner with local businesses and attractions to host giveaways and discounts.

    Many farms, restaurants, attractions and businesses have agreed to open their doors to host local bloggers for coverage in Central Valley Connection once it launches, providing local bloggers that join our network with product review opportunities in their own back yard, and a great way to be an influencer and a voice in their immediate community.

    To start, I would like to ass a few of your posts to the “Local Living” and “Family” section of our website for the upcoming launch. This would entail a thumbnail and a page that features 1-3 opening paragraphs of your post and 1-2 images, and then a link to your article for the actual recipe. Each page would be headed with your blogs banner to redirect to your site.

    The articles I am interested in adding to CVC are:

    Family Home Evening: Earthquake Scenario
    Our Heroes
    Change Our Community Change Our World
    Are You Ready To Be Helped
    Do It Yourself The Family Emergency Binder

    If you are interesting in joining our network, your blog would be listed under the “Local Bloggers” category, and you would be giving Central Valley Connection permission to periodically feature your latest posts, each time using the above format (heading the post with your banner, 1-3 paragraphs, 1-2 photos and a link to the actual article on your blog).

    Additionally, as a thank you and a “Welcome to the Network!”, bloggers and businesses joining Central Valley Connection will be given the chance to enter to win an eco-friendly personalized t-shirt package from Crooked Brook with your blog name and / or logo embroidered on it!

    While we feel this would be a great chance to build SEO and review local product, we hope it will also be a way to connect local bloggers on a personal level - once we get into the swing of things, my husband and I are daydreaming of hosting occasional local blogger get-togethers and foodie parties! (The reactions to this idea are either wildly enthusiastic or a little weirded out, haha. Let me know where you fall the meet up scale.) ^_^

    So let me know if you’d like to join our network! We’d love to have you! Please e-mail me back at

    Gingi Freeman (My personal “mom” blog!)