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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M defeats UT in Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

After a head-to-head service battle between Texas A&M’s and the University of Texas’ American Red Cross Clubs, the Aggies emerged victorious.   
In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the American Red Cross Club of TAMU recruited 145 volunteers to install, repair and replace more than 200 smoke detectors in Bryan homes Jan. 14.  
The event was part of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, and was a competition between Texas A&M and the University of Texas. The Texas A&M team installed, replaced and repaired more smoke detectors than UT’s team. Jennifer Lim, president of the Red Cross Club at A&M, attributed the group’s success to the willingness of Texas A&M students to serve.        
“A&M students are known for their Aggie spirit,” Lim said. “They want to help the others, so it is just natural for A&M students to volunteer at events like these where you have the opportunity to help so many lives and actually make an impact in their lives.”
Defeating UT is always celebrated by Aggies, but the real victory for American Red Cross Disaster Program Specialist Nate Kidwell was giving families a chance to escape their homes quickly during a fire by installing working fire alarms in older and more fire-prone houses.            
“Once a fire starts they’ve got two minutes to get out of their house; it’s not like on TV,” Kidwell said. “Once the fire actually hits, man, does it go fast and God, does it get hot. They are going to want to get out as fast as they can, but they need to get out in less than two minutes.”            
Volunteers were trained to properly place and install fire alarms so that residents could have quick notice of fires and more time to escape. Volunteers were also trained to educate families about how to prevent and escape home fires, as well as lead families to take further steps in making their homes safer in the event of a home fire. After the hour-long training, students broke into groups of three and went door to door in Bryan asking residents to allow them into their homes.            
Construction science senior Erik Kruz was among the Texas A&M students who volunteered.
“I’ve been looking for an opportunity to kind of get involved in the community, and I like helping out,” Kruz said. “I’ve always just had a sense that you should be a part of something bigger than you and just kind of get involved in stuff and have a servant-leader attitude.”       
According to Lim, The American Red Cross Club of TAMU does service events in the Bryan-College Station area throughout the year, and is glad to be a part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.
“This particular event is important because just a working fire alarm can reduce the damages and casualties that the home fire does by half,” Lim said. “Most of the time around this neighborhood, the houses are old and the people don’t have enough money to install a fire alarm.”

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