LaFayette learns about Get Alarmed Alabama

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, July 14, 2021

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At Monday’s meeting, the LaFayette City Council heard from LaFayette Fire and EMS Shift Leader Mark McManus about joining a Montgomery company called In Touch InState Fire Marshal’s office and the Alabama Fire College’s initiative called “Get Alarmed Alabama,” which is a campaign that gives out free smoke detectors.

“When they came out with [the initiative], they went to Montgomery and started passing out smoke detectors to all the residents inside Montgomery,” McManus said. “What they’ve done is partner with the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Alabama Fire College. The company is a non-profit organization. It was formed in 2011.”

According to McManus, the company’s main goal is to install smoke detectors to all residents in the city of Montgomery, even to those that could not afford a new smoke detector.

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McManus said the city would be able to participate in the initiative by partnering with the Fire College and Fire Marshal’s office. The smoke detectors would be free to the city, but the city would have to go to the houses and install the detectors.

McManus presented the council with a waiver that the resident would sign along with an information sheet regarding the smoke detector application.

City Attorney Mac Tucker wanted to get an opinion from the attorney general’s office to get more information about the city working on private property. He said the waiver that McManus presented could be an issue as it may not protect the city against every liability.

According to McManus, there were 3,000 fatalities due to nonworking smoke detectors in the United States last year. He also said that Alabama had the most smoke detector-related fatalities in the country with 94 in 2020. Currently, the state has 51 deaths this year.

“Working in the fire department, we’re hardly ever responding to fire calls. It’s more fire alarms more than anything,” McManus said. “It’s not what but when it’s going to happen. I feel like this needs to go out to every citizen. It’s a public service.”

Mayor Kenneth Vines brought up a time when he was the city’s police chief. He said the city was able to give out the detectors but wasn’t able to install them in citizens’ houses due to a liability issue.

Also at the council meeting, the council approved a proclamation naming Aug. 6, 2021, a day of prayer for Chambers County. This is the 20th consecutive year the day of prayer has happened in Chambers County.

“Thank you to the city of LaFayette for allowing us to have our day of prayer again,” Day of Prayer advocate Dorothy Vines said. “This will be our 20th year, and we know that prayer is always important, for the city as well as the county as well as the nation. We thank you so much for this day and this opportunity.”

The bible verse for this year’s day of prayer is from the second book of Chronicles.

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land,” II Chronicles 7:14 reads.

The day of prayer will start at 6 p.m. CT on the Eastside of the Courthouse. Because of COVID-19, the gathering will be smaller than past years, as only five to seven people will be invited to come and pray. Anyone who attends is asked to stay in their vehicle.