The Fire Yenta: Worthy to Note in October

By Diane Rothschild

Smoke Alarm Program

If you ordered a pizza from Domino’s recently in Ramsey, New Jersey; San Marcos, Texas, or other parts of the country, your pie may have been delivered by a fire engine, thanks to an agreement between the pizza chain and the fire departments in those areas. The campaign, designed to promote fire safety, applied to randomly selected customers who ordered a pizza. A fire department rig delivered the order. If the customer’s smoke alarms in the home were working, the pizza was free. If a smoke alarm was not working, firefighters replaced the batteries and left the home with a fully involved functioning alarm. Many people forget to maintain the batteries in their smoke alarm, so this is a way to remind everyone.

Members of the San Marcos (TX) Fire Department partnered with Domino’s Pizza to deliver orders and check smoke detectors during Fire Prevention Week

Above: Members of the San Marcos (TX) Fire Department partnered with Domino’s Pizza to deliver orders and check smoke detectors during Fire Prevention Week. (Photo by Don Anders.)

RELATED: Indianapolis Fire Department Kicks Off Fire Prevention Month

Good Morning Check-Up Program

A program in Teaneck, New Jersey, is designed for shut-ins and senior citizens who live alone and have no one to look in on them on a regular basis. The program provides subscribers with a telephone call service seven days a week, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. A member of the Teaneck (NJ) Fire Department calls the resident and asks if all is OK. If there is no answer to the first call, a second call is made in about 5 minutes. If there is no answer to the second call, a firefighter is dispatched to the house to make sure all is well. In the past, residents have been found in need of medical assistance and sincerely appreciated the fire department’s concern over their welfare. Before enrolling a new resident, a department representative interviews the applicant to obtain pertinent medical data and to find out who they want called in case of emergency. A home fire safety check is also done. Kudos to program coordinators Lt. David Barrett and Lt. Richard Burchell of the Teaneck Fire Department.

Help SC Firefighters

Widespread flooding in South Carolina has devastated thousands, including many firefighters. Here is a note from the S.C. Firefighter Foundation:We have been made aware of several firefighters who have either lost their homes or suffered major damages due to the flooding. We fully expect to hear of many more areas of need in the weeks and months ahead. Many of you have asked how you can help, and this is one of those ways. If you are planning a fundraiser, would you consider donating the proceeds to the Foundation? There are many great organizations working to support relief efforts throughout the state. We are asking that you consider a gift that will go directly to our members.”

RELATED: VA Task Force 2 USAR Team Assists with SC Flood Response

There are two ways to make a donation: 

  1. You can donate online through the Web site (select the 2015 Flood Relief option):
  2. You can mail checks payable to the S.C. Firefighter Foundation:

           S.C. State Firefighter Foundation
           111 Westpark Boulevard
           Columbia, SC 29210

Diane Rothschild, a 25-year veteran of PennWell Corp., is executive editor of Fire Engineering and conference director of FDIC. She has a B.A. in English communications. She has been a yenta (look it up) for most of her life. If you have a story for the Yenta, e-mail


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