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Making a difference

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – Once again, Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg has stepped up to help prevent fire-related deaths through his distribution of more than 5,000 smoke detectors to local fire departments Wednesday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

Serving as the Red Wings' spokesman for the 10th annual smoke detector collection, presented by Comerica Cares, Zetterberg met with several representatives from local fire departments after practice.
Zetterberg Distributes Smoke Detectors

“I am happy to again be part of such an important and worthwhile program,” Zetterberg said. “House fires are tragedies, but in many cases they can be prevented. My hope is that we can bring increased awareness to the need for everyone to have working smoke detectors installed in their homes.”

After practice, Zetterberg met with fire officials from Detroit, Farmington Hills, Flint, Livonia, Roseville, Saginaw and Southfield fire departments. The Detroit Fire Department even presented Zetterberg with his own DFD hockey shirt.

Collected smoke detectors will be distributed to local residents unable to afford the devices for their own homes. The fire departments will assist in distributing the detectors in homes throughout the area.

One fire official, who was beyond elated to receive 750 alarms for distribution in her city, was Saginaw firefighter Aileen Pettinger, who recently was appointed by Gov. Rick Synder to the Michigan Fire Fighters Training Council.

“We’re extremely grateful to participate in such an opportunity because we really need smoke detectors in Saginaw and it will be so beneficial for our community,” Pettinger said. “We go on the fire truck and properly install the smoke detectors and we also do fire safety tips for the kids and take that opportunity to talk fire safety with them.

“It’s so great. Already to be a Red Wings’ fan to know a Red Wing has your back when we’re struggling in today’s economy just means so much more.”

Zetterberg, who is off to another outstanding season on the ice, again matched the total number of detectors collected at two Red Wings preseason games, as well as at an autograph signing at Hockeytown Authentics last month. In six years, Zetterberg has personally matched the fans’ collection by donating more than $10,000 to purchase additional smoke alarms.
Committed to giving back and supporting the people who support them, the Wings organization is active in a variety of projects and initiatives throughout the community through efforts like the Smoke Detector Collection and ongoing activities of the Detroit Red Wings Foundation.

Since the Wings’ collection began in 2001, the organization has distributed more than 19,500 smoke detectors to fire agencies throughout southeastern Michigan.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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