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  • How to Register
    Fill out the registration form. PLEASE REGISTER IN ADVANCE, and please try to register by April 22. Volunteers may still register after that date, but registering early helps us create a smoother day of service for everyone.
  • Who Can Volunteer
    Adults 18+ who can climb stairs and use or carry a step ladder are encouraged to serve on installation teams. You may be an installer, a safety educator, or a documenter. The installer must be able to use a portable drill to install the alarms. If you have a portable hand drill, please bring it. Youth 16+ with parental permission may also serve on an installation team as a safety educator or documenter. Youth 14+ may serve at the rally site under the supervision of Jason Giles. These youth will help manage supplies, supply meals to other volunteers, and assist Red Cross personnel as needed. Youth 14+ with parents on an installation team may join the team as a "quartermaster" to manage supplies and assist the installer. They may not take other roles on the installation team. A few adults who wish to serve but have mobility issues may be able to serve at the rally sight. We have a limited number of opportunities.
  • Where and When
    The installation campaign will be on April 28, 2018. The rally site is at the State Fairgrounds. Park on the Midway; enter the Fairgrounds from University Ave. You will then receive instruction on where to go to check in. Volunteers who have already signed up online and received a team assignment should arrive at the rally site between 8:30-9:00 am to register, confirm team assignments, receive instructions and maps and supplies, and get a donut to eat. Volunteers who have not yet been assigned to a team or registered online should arrive at the Fairgrounds rally site between 8:00 - 8:30 am to register and receive a team assignment. Teams will begin knocking on doors around 9:30 am. Details on how to get from the rally site to your assigned street will be forthcoming. You will carpool with your team in your vehicles to get to your assigned street. There will be parking streetside. We expect to complete all objectives by 1:30 pm, if not sooner, and all teams will return to the rally site to return tools and remaining supplies. Lunch will be provided by the Iowa Pork Producers.
  • Video Training for ALL Volunteers; please watch
    The Des Moines Fire Department has produced a video to show you how to install alarms and interact with the residents you are serving. All volunteers must watch this video.
  • Installer Duties
    The installer is primarily responsible for installing the smoke alarms in homes. Currently, the goal is to install at least three alarms in every home. Fire Department personnel will determine whether additional alarms should be installed; those details will be provided at the orientation. If you are not experienced using a drill, this is not the best time to learn since we are serving in other people's homes. In homes where functioning alarms exist, installers will check batteries and replace them if needed. When replacing old or expired alarms or batteries, the installer will ask the homeowners if they would like the installation team to dispose of the old materials or leave them with the homeowners.
  • Safety Educator Duties
    Each installation team will be given educational materials that are to be given to the home's occupants. The materials will include information on how to create a fire escape plan, fire safety tips, and more. The safety educator will review these materials with the residents while the installer is installing alarms. If children are in the home, tailor the message to them as much as possible.
  • Documenter Duties
    The documenter handles all of the paperwork, which includes keeping track of supplies (inventory control is important to Red Cross donors), getting signatures from residents regarding their permission for the installation, and so forth. The documenter also accompanies the installer into all parts of the home where installations are occuring. No member of the installation team should be alone in any part of the house at any time.
  • Background Checks
    Because of liability issues inherent in such a project, the Red Cross requires that every team entering a home has one member on it who has been background checked. All Red Cross volunteers have this status, but there are not enough Red Cross volunteers to staff every team. We need up to 80 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers to become team leaders, regardless of team role, and go through a basic Red Cross background check. Such team members will wear a Red Cross vest during the project. Please consider making yourselves available for this important role. The Red Cross covers the cost of the background check. If you agree to this, someone from the Red Cross will call you to walk you through the process so it can be completed before the 28th. Please be prompt in respondoing to the Red Cross call.
  • Transportation
    You are responsible for your own transportation to the staging site at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Some of you may be asked to provide rides for others. Once you have been assigned with your team to a street in the Fairgrounds neighborhood, you should carpool with your team to your assigned area. That will give you the flexibility to return to the Fairgrounds or go find a bathroom as needed. There are bathrooms available at the Dean Ave. Fire Station, at the Fairgrounds (portables), and at nearby businesses such as Aldi or the gas station.
  • Mormon Helping Hands Participation
    This is an official Mormon Helping Hands project, but we are serving with the Iowa chapter of the American Red Cross. You will receive a Mormon Helping Hands vest or t-shirt to wear during this project to help identify our group to residents and other volunteers. Team leads will be asked to wear a Red Cross vest to help homeowners understand the sponsor and feel comfortable with having strangers in their homes. If you have your own Mormon Helping Hands T-shirt, you may wear it. If you bring friends to serve with you, they may choose to use one of the vests or not; it will not be required. Other community volunteers will be serving in this high profile event, as well.
  • Service Area
    Our area of service is the Fairgrounds Neighborhood. We will divide into 19 "divisions" with six people each to canvass an area with between 30-60 homes. The more volunteers we have, the few homes each will need to visit. Each division will be supervised by a fire fighter, who will be in the street to assist and to help assure residents the project is safe.
  • Other Partners Involved
    This initiative has wide support, and we will be serving with Polk County Emergency Management, volunteers from Nationwide Insurance Company, local Boy Scout troops (LDS troops will be doing the pre-canvassing of homes), the Des Moines Fire Department, the Iowa State Fire Marshall's office, various media partners, other Red Cross partner groups, and local public officials. Be sure to thank those groups who help make this project possible.
  • Weather Considerations
    This project will move forward even if it rains or snows. The Red Cross may postpone if a severe weather alert is issued. So, be sure to dress accordingly.
  • Forms
    Documenters will be filling out this form for each household entered.
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