News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 9, 2013

Firefighters support ‘Protect the Precious’ program

T-shirt sale to help buy smoke detectors

Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute firefighters have begun a new fundraising effort to support the “Protect the Precious” program, which seeks to provide working smoke detectors to anyone in the city who needs one.

The firefighters are selling T-shirts for $15 and using the logo, “Push the Button,” said Rich Gallagher, firefighter at Station 5.

The program also has received a $1,000 donation  from Scott’s Custom Colors.

The donation will be used to purchase more smoke detectors as well as 9-volt batteries for those who might have a smoke detector but need a battery for it. “What we want is to have a working smoke detector in every home,” Gallagher said.

The firefighters started the “Protect the Precious” program about two years ago after some fatal house fires in which there were no working smoke detectors.

Now, the fire department has smoke detectors on each apparatus (engines, ladder trucks, etc.) Also, “Anybody who needs one can come to any fire station and ask for a smoke detector,” and they will receive one at no cost, he said.

“If they need help putting them up or any advice, the firefighters will help them,” Gallagher said. “I’ve gone out to houses where we’ve changed smoke detectors.”

Now, aided by the $1,000 donation, firefighters also will purchase 9-volt batteries and have some on each apparatus as well as at each fire station.

This is the second year that Scott’s Custom Colors has donated money for Protect the Precious. “The community helps us, and we, in turn, want to give back to the community,” said Scott McDaniel, of Scott’s Custom Colors. “It’s a great cause.”

He said the business will make donations each year as long as the program exists.

Those interested in purchasing a Push the Button T-shirt can call firefighter Glen Hall at 812-691-1338.

In a separate project that occurred over the holidays, Gallagher and firefighter Jessica Barbee collected money and donations from fellow firefighters to benefit the Terre Haute Humane Society.

They collected old pillows, old blankets and other items. They raised about $400 and used it to purchase items needed by the Humane Society.

Gallagher planned to take the items to the shelter Tuesday. Those items included 50 blankets, pet food, toys, dog biscuits and other pet treats.

On Jan. 16, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Gallagher will be working at Station 5, located at Ninth and Ohio streets, and he is asking the community to bring donations that will benefit the Humane Shelter, including old blankets, pillows, food and other items.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or