E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc.(SM), an award-winning non-profit fire safety organization headquartered in Kalamazoo has formed an exclusive partnership with First Alert® with the goal of eliminating home fire deaths across Michigan through the new campaign called “Keeping Michigan S.A.F.E.”(Smoke Alarms For Everyone).
First Alert is the most trusted and recognized fire safety brand in America. For more than 60 years, First Alert has designed and developed innovative safety solutions including a comprehensive line of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and escape ladders to protect what matters most.
“For over a decade, Michigan continues to lead the country in civilian fire deaths. This exclusive partnership will allow us to provide the resources and education that firefighters throughout Michigan are able to utilize in their local communities and reverse this deadly trend,” according to firefighter Michael McLeieer, president and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. and immediate past president of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association.
On May 18, 2019, Lt. Michael McLeieer from the Olivet Fire Department in Eaton County and the President and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. was elected President of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association at the 144th Annual Conference held in Frankenmuth. He also is the Program Coordinator of the WOTV Operation Save A Life program.
McLeieer will be providing guidance and vision as he and the MSFA Executive Board implement strategies to provide the tools for firefighters and fire departments throughout Michigan to keep their communities safe, healthy, prepared and resilient.
Michigan continues to be a leading state in the country for civilian fire deaths in the home. There is also a shortage of firefighter candidates in many communities throughout the state. The recruitment and retention of qualified firefighters is essential to maintaining a safe and healthy community. That’s why the MSFA has partnered with the National Volunteer Fire Council by supporting its national initiative called Make Me A Firefighter, said McLeieer
“One key to retention has been utilizing new volunteers on proactive projects such as installing new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in owner occupied homes, providing “hands-only” CPR education in the schools, and teaching the public ways to identify and reduce risky actions which may result in injury or even death,” according to McLeieer.
Approximately 70 percent of fire departments are served by paid-on-call or volunteer firefighters, and roughly 30 percent are served by paid career firefighters. So when seven out of every ten firefighters or emergency responders are volunteers, fire departments have to make sure that those interested in their local communities understand they can make a difference and a positive impact. McLeieer has been told the hardest thing for the local fire department is just getting the word out and let people know that the department is seeking volunteers.