Okla. Crews Doling Out Smoke Detectors to Deaf

Del City firefighters recently took training to serve people with disabilities.


May 13--DEL CITY -- The Del City Fire Department is offering free smoke detection equipment for deaf residents with the help of several agencies in central Oklahoma.

The equipment includes standard smoke detectors and bed shakers, which shake a resident's bed when smoke is detected. Strobe lights that flash are also used when smoke is detected when a resident is awake.

Firefighters in Del City recently took a four-hour course on serving people with disabilities and a two-hour course on how to install the detection devices.

"There are a lot of needs out there and challenges our citizens face," Del City Fire Department Maj. Brandon Pursell said. "Sometimes our firefighters may not be aware of those issues. This was a great chance for us to learn how to communicate with someone who is deaf. It was a real eye-opener for some of our guys."

The department has about 10 systems available to install free to residents. The systems provide alerts any time of day.

The systems were provided through a partnership with the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation, Oklahoma ABLE Tech and Fire Protection Publications at Oklahoma State University.

Pursell said one system has been installed so far.

"We're glad we can help provide it for the community," Pursell said. "But we are on a limited time line as far as how long they will be available. We're hoping people that need them take full advantage."

For more information on how to get smoke detection equipment for the deaf or hearing impaired call the Del City Fire Department at 671-2891 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

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