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Smoke signal: New detectors help seniors of Mid-County in need

NEDERLAND — In 2017, the United States had 3,645 fire deaths, with 40 percent of those deaths being people of 65 years old and higher.

Nederland Lions Club members see the need for seniors in their own community to be safe from that statistic after finding that more than a dozen community members lacked the proper safety equipment.

Lions Club member and spearhead for the project S. R. Moe Cully said he received a list with phone numbers and addresses for people who needed the assistance.

Cully then contacted the Nederland Fire Department to begin working on the project before Phillips 66’s Employee Safety Improvement Team stepped into the picture.

“(The Lions Club) met with the Senior Citizen Center to see what their needs were,” Cully said. “That’s one of the things we do. They said they had a need for smoke detectors. We started working on it right away to find a way to obtain the detectors for folks who need them and who should have them.”

Nederland Fire Chief Terry Morton said the project had been ongoing for three months before Phillips 66 offered to provide 50 free smoke detectors to the cause.

The Nederland Fire Department, Lions Club and Employee Safety Improvement Team at Phillips 66 teamed up to provide the Nederland Senior Citizen Center with 50 new smoke detectors. Phillips 66 presented the detectors to the department and Lions Club Wednesday at a provided luncheon at Benton’s in Port Neches. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

“Phillips 66 just popped up and said, ‘Hey, we want to contribute some money or equipment to a current community project,’” Morton said. “That’s how it came about to be a partnership between the Lion’s Club, Phillips 66 and the Nederland Fire Department.”

Together, the three organizations will begin installing the detectors in senior homes throughout the Nederland and Port Neches.

Morton said early detection is a key to keeping citizens safe from being involved in a deadly fire and the smoke detectors are going to be a great asset to the Nederland community.

“Early detection of fire, there is no substitute for it,” he said. “As people age and get to where they can’t move as well as they did in their younger years, they need more time to get out of their homes.”

Cully said he is looking forward to working with the Nederland Fire Department to begin installation and is extremely grateful to Phillips 66 for helping the community.

The team at Phillips 66 presented the smoke detectors to the Lions Club Wednesday at a provided luncheon at Benton’s in Port Neches.