PATERSON, NJ - In what some might call the Super Bowl of fire safety Mayor Andre Sayegh announced Tuesday that Paterson has been selected as New Jersey’s signature city for the American Red Cross’ nationwide Sound the Alarm campaign.

Offering his support to the two-week initiative that will take place beginning on April 18th and lead to the free installation of up to 5,000 smoke alarms in local homes was former New York Giant Victor Cruz, a Paterson native whose father served with the Paterson Fire Department for more than 30 years.

“Paterson is a city that needs resources and opportunities,” Cruz said offering a vision of a brighter future. “This is one fo them.”

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Rap star Fetty Wap, another Paterson native, also attended the press conference announcing the initiative.  

“We are elated to be selected as New Jersey’s Signature City,” Sayegh said.“This partnership with the American Red Cross is a lifesaving initiative. We want to make sure that the residents of the City of Paterson are safe in their homes and the installation of smoke alarms through the Sound the Alarm campaign will do just that.”

Saying that the partnership with the Paterson Fire Department is the best she’s experienced during her time with the Red Cross, Rosie Tarvella, CEO for the New Jersey Region said that “working smoke alarms reduce the risk of fatalities in a home fire by 50 percent.” 

Tarvella added a call to action to her comments by asking community partners to bring their organizations, members, and employees to offer their volunteer support by canvassing Paterson neighborhoods, installing the lifesaving devices, and helping families create fire escape plans. Interested groups can learn more by clicking here or emailing the Red Cross

Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott and local firefighter union president Kyle Hughes both spoke at the event, sharing the importance of having working smoke alarms. “Our focus is on stopping fires before they start,” McDermott said, adding that when they do arrive at a fire scene there is some relief when they hear a smoke alarms as it’s an indicator any potential victims have gotten out safely.

“This is a great opportunity to save lives,” Hughes said.

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