Dorothy Keller is 85 and has lived in Strawberry for 20 years. Her husband, Ralph, died seven years ago so she is now alone. She has fallen a few times. Her children wanted her to move down to the Valley where she would be closer to family. Her daughter worried that she might fall and not be able to get up. Dorothy now wears the Guardian Angel Pendant 24 hours a day. She hopes she never needs to use it. She had a friend who did fall and was unable to get up. After 24 hours, she was discovered, but she died a few months later.
Audrey, 71, has muscular dystrophy. She lives in the Pine area alone and finds security in having the Guardian Angel pendant.
"It gives me peace of mind to know that I can quickly get a hold of someone if I need help," Audrey said. She also loves living in Strawberry and wants to be able to stay in her home.
The Guardian Angel Program is sponsored by the Pine-Strawberry Firefighters Association. They raise funds for the pendants and coordinate the program.
Michelle Powers, program coordinator, has been trying to get the word out about this valuable project. Funds are always needed to buy more pendants. The pendants and control box cost $50. If someone is unable to pay, it will be provided for them as long as funds are available.
When the Carter family died in a house fire, memorials were used to set up this program. The initial funding is now gone. Any person or organization is encouraged to donate to this valuable program.
The Guardian Angel pendant is a white plastic pendant, which hangs around the neck 24 hours a day, including in the shower. The box sits near the telephone.
A person starting the program records a message, which includes a name and a need for help if it is asked for, into the box. The phone numbers of four friends and neighbors are programmed in. When the person pushes the red button on the pendant, these four people are immediately notified of a request for help.
When the first person answers, the white button is pushed to stop others from being called. Each of these people has access to the house in case the person is unable to get to the door to unlock it.
Particularly in the winter when there are not many people around Pine and Strawberry, this program is most valuable. For more information, call the Pine Strawberry Fire Department, (928) 476-4272.