Newly installed smoke alarm helps to save Oshkosh couple

A device that vibrates wildly when triggered by a smoke alarm can be placed under a pillow to...
A device that vibrates wildly when triggered by a smoke alarm can be placed under a pillow to alert people who are hard of hearing (WBAY photo)(WBAY)
Published: Feb. 28, 2020 at 4:14 PM CST
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An initiative by the American Red Cross, called "Sound the Alarm" began in 2014. Since then, the Red Cross has installed more than two million smoke detectors in homes across the country, for free. And now the program have recently helped to save two lives.

Most of us have no problem hearing the tones when the smoke alarm goes off. Ross and Betty Golly of Oshkosh, don't hear anything. The couple is deaf and they didn't have proper smoke detectors in their Oshkosh home. So, they reached out to the Red Cross for help.

"We didn't have flashing alarms at the time and if we had a fire there would be no way for me and my wife to know. They said they would come, it was free of charge, it would help us out, they would install," signs Ross Golly.

On December 1st, Toby Vanden Heuvel and another Red Cross volunteer, Kurt Hein, installed new smoke detectors and special alarms for the deaf in the Golly's home.

According to Vanden Heuvel, "We were able to communicate and determine where the smoke alarms should go and then where the, installed those and then installed the shaker alarms."

Just hours later, those newly-installed alarms went off.

"I fell asleep and then I smelled something and then I went running and the bed shaker and the lights from the bed shaker were going off and then I went into the kitchen and that's when I found the fire," signed Betty Golly.

The Golly's were able to put the fire out themselves, with very little damage to their home. But they realize, if not for the Red Cross coming in that day, things could have ended much differently.

Ross Golly adds, "I feel what the Red Cross has done for us was very life changing. It saved our lives from a fire because of the technology they installed."