The Fire District of Sun City West Fire Corps program has gotten off to an impressive start. Launched in April 2009 with 26 volunteer nurses and an additional 14 members, the Fire Corps team has significantly contributed to their fire department and community in just a few short months. Members of the Fire Corps program assist with a variety non-operational roles, including helping with the district’s emergency lock box program, smoke alarms checks and installations, community events, blood pressure checks, and general office support.
The community of Sun City West is largely made up of retirees. Subsequently all Fire Corps volunteers are over the age of 55. Serving a population of 40,000, the program has brought essential services to community members. One unique service they offer is free blood pressure screenings provided by Sun City West’s volunteer nurses, a valuable resource for a community with a large senior citizen population.
In July, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Inc. issued a voluntary recall of a common model of smoke detector, the Sun City West Fire Corps sprung into action. Members distributed a press release, made phone calls, and mailed notices to alert citizens who may own a defective alarm. Volunteers put in 213 hours in July replacing recalled alarms throughout the community with temporary units provided by Kidde. This fall, Fire Corps volunteers will return to these homes to install permanent replacement devices.
The Sun City West Fire Corps program is off to a successful start. As the program continues to develop, volunteers will receive training in additional areas, such as car safety seat training planned for this fall, to expand upon their already impressive contribution to the fire department and the community.