By Jack Guerino
ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters took to their trucks Tuesday evening not to put out a fire, but to hopefully prevent one by installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
The Fire Department teamed up with the Red Cross to install free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in 12 homes this week funded through the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.
Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Mary Nathan said the program is five-year initiative looking to decrease the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent. "We are in our third year and we have already had success throughout the country and in Western Massachusetts," she said. "Also, we know it’s a great program." Fire Chief Paul Goyette said the program is a first for Adams and after communicating with the Red Cross, the department quickly put out fliers to inform residents. He said early detection is critical in saving lives and property. "Early detection is always critical not only for life safety but for keeping the fire small," Goyette said. "Fire doubles in size about every 30 seconds. This is huge not only in trying to save the residents but the building."
Goyette said he felt people underestimate the importance of detectors and often take out the batteries to power other utilities. He said this program will definitely make the community safer.
Stan and Elizabeth Kestyn of Orchard Street were first on the list. Firefighters checked their home for bad detectors and placed new ones in optimal locations. Stan Kestyn said he thought the program was important and signed up right away. "It's great, and I'd like to see other towns follow the same thing," he said.His wife agreed. "We saw it in a flier and thought it would be a good thing," she said. "We are older and this is a huge help."
Goyette said a fire department does more than just fight fires.
"There is more to a fire department than just fighting fires, and this is community service," he said. "This is prevention and when a pager goes off we answer the alarm but we would rather not even get to that point."