Free Cedar Rapids program benefits firefighters and the elderly - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Free Cedar Rapids program benefits firefighters and the elderly

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL)--   The fatal fire in Waterloo last month and the blaze that destroyed a Coralville auto detailing business earlier this week are grim reminders about the importance of smoke detectors.

An eastern Iowa community wants to make sure everyone owns a working smoke alarm.

There is a free service for the elderly and disabled. When the fire department knocks at the door-- its usually not good news. But Renee Reilly welcomed these guests with open arms.

Renee Reilly lives in Cedar Rapids, "The firemen came and the Red Cross came and changed my batteries.  Its a wonderful service."

She signed up for the free service over the phone. Three minutes later, that sound gives her peace of mind.

Renee says, "Its just great because I don't like to climb ladders anymore and these guys are so tall they can do it!"

Renee tells all of her neighbors about the option she takes advantage of twice a year.

She lives alone and also enjoys the extra company!

The partnership with the Red Cross helps firefighters like Rion Schults navigate the streets of Cedar Rapids.

Firefighter and Paramedic for Cedar Rapids

"It allows the people to interact with us on a non-emergency basis and allows us to get to know the streets a little bit better if we have to go somewhere at three in the morning it helps us get there better."

Renee is thankful her alarms have never been put to the test with a real fire, but knows her home is in good hands if disaster ever strikes.

"I'd call them right away. They're wonderful."

If you live in Cedar Rapids and want to sign up for this free service contact the Red Cross at 319-393-3500

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