The American Red Cross Greater Arkansas Chapter presented the Sound the Alarm Hero Award to Fire Chief Shauwn Howell and the Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services Department.


The May 2 honor was given in recognition of the department’s support of the Red Cross Sound the Alarm Mission Campaign and the life-saving work the Pine Bluff agency does daily, according to a news release.


“Fire Chief Shauwn Howell was honored and humbled to receive the award on behalf of the men and women of Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services,” according to the release. “This mission would not be possible without the many dedicated volunteers of the Red Cross along with the local community support as well as the various sponsorships.”


Lori Arnold, Greater Arkansas Chapter executive director, said the award recognizes people or organizations who, by giving of their time, talent or treasure, have made a significant impact on the lives in their communities through home fire prevention, education and preparedness.


“Thanks to the tremendous support of the Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services, 150 homes in the Pine Bluff area have been made safer through the installation of working smoke alarms,” Arnold said.


The Greater Arkansas Chapter responded to 787 home fires in 2018.


“So far this year, local Red Cross volunteers have helped more than 750 people recover from these emergencies — which are the nation’s most frequent disaster and kill an average of seven people each day. Sound the Alarm events are part of the Home Fire Campaign, which the Red Cross launched in 2014 to reduce fire deaths and injuries. So far, nationwide, it has reached more than 1.7 million people and saved more than 500 lives,” according to the release.


The chapter and local partners have installed more than 4,000 free smoke alarms, made more than 1,700 households safer and reached nearly 3,800 children through youth preparedness programs, according to the release.


The Sound the Alarm campaign is sponsored in part by Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Charles A. Frueauff Foundation, Briggs Equipment and Vestcom International.