Firefighters dispense safety tips to seniors

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

Three young Clovis firefighters were on a mission Wednesday morning.

Their goal was to visit homebound senior citizens and install new smoke detectors.

According to Vee Lucas, director for the Older Adults Division of the city of Clovis, the Clovis Fire Department and OAD are collaborating in an effort to better serve senior citizens in the community.

“We’ve visited 30 seniors,” Lucas said, “and installed 36 smoke detectors.”

Despite frigid temperatures, falling snow and treacherous roads, Clovis firefighters Larry Roybal, Rodney Alaniz and Nate Joy installed four smoke detectors, shoveled sidewalks and checked the batteries in existing smoke detectors.

“These guys (firefighters) are just great,” Lucas said. “They don’t have to do this but they do because they care.”

Once the new smoke detectors were in place, Roybal, who serves as the public education officer for the Clovis Fire Department, sat each senior citizen down to talk safety.

“You need to keep these things by your bed,” Roybal said as he read a list of items, “a cordless phone, your eyeglasses a flashlight and your walker.” Roybal, easily switching from Spanish to English, also reminded the seniors to call 911 if they need assistance.

Clovis resident Lillian Finifrock was one of the seniors to receive a smoke detector. The 88-year-old said she was thankful for the assistance. “I guess I’m all good now,” she said.

The smoke detectors were purchased with grant money, and the service is provided to seniors free of charge, Lucas said.

Scam alert
Vee Lucas, director for the Older Adults Division of the city of Clovis, said it has been brought to her attention that some seniors are receiving telephone calls soliciting donations from someone claiming to be a firefighter. Lucas said the Clovis Fire Department has not been making donation calls, and asks seniors to be aware that the callers are not affiliated with the CFD.

“We can firmly state that the Clovis Fire Department does not solicit any funds for any programs over the telephone,” Clovis Fire Department Chief Ray Westerman said.