AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Video shows dozens of people at the Silverton Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday gaining some peace of mind thanks to the efforts of a local firefighter and his partners at the station.
In January, Silverton VFD’s Chaplain Rowdy Cogdell started a campaign called Close Before You Doze, a fire safety initiative to remind homeowners that a few extra seconds could save their lives in a fire.
“A closed door, you know, you don’t think it will save you very much, but it will,” said Cogdell.
According to the Close Before You Doze website, closing your doors before sleeping could put more distance between you and danger if a fire strikes your home, giving you the extra time you need to slip away to safety.
To keep the Silverton community aware of the risks, Cogdell raised money to give smoke detectors away to any resident who needed one, giving them a potentially lifesaving guard against the threat of nighttime fires.
The fire department gave the detectors away at an open house event on Saturday, giving hot dogs and hamburgers away to the community and teaching them about firefighting and fire safety.
“It means a lot to each one of us,” said Silverton VFD Chief Jody Robison. “Our main goal is public safety and preservation of life and limb.”
He said the fundraising and planning were well worth the potential of saving lives.
"If we can prevent one house fire by a smoke alarm or somebody getting a carbon monoxide [detector], that’s what we’re here for, " he continued.
Cogdell said he’s happy to look out for the community that looks out for him in kind.
"Everybody here is family to me. They watch out for me, “he said. “The sheriff’s watching out for me, and my brothers and sisters here are watching out for me. It just makes me so happy.”