A Day of Service: Heat’s On – Water’s Off
As the sun began to rise on Saturday morning, September 28, over 70 plumbers and steamfitters gathered together at the local Mechanical Trade School to participate in the fifteenth annual Heat’s On – Water’s Off day of service. While the volunteer tradesmen geared up to perform what they considered routine maintenance tasks, feelings of service and gratitude filled the air.
In one day, the Heat’s On – Water’s Off volunteers inspected the plumbing and heating systems in over 22 homes of senior citizens and persons with disabilities in Prince George’s County who could not otherwise afford these services. These simple inspections and repairs may seem small but they make a huge impact on the homeowners.
Representatives from the sponsoring organizations – Mechanical Contractors Association of Metropolitan Washington’s Service Bureau, Plumbers Local 5, and Steamfitters Local 602 in partnership with Prince George’s County Department of Family Services and the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department – spoke to the crowd of volunteers before they started their day of work. There was one common theme as each person spoke, gratitude.
Many thanks were expressed for each volunteer giving up their Saturday to share their time and expertise. Thank yous were expressed for giving back to their community. And thank yous were expressed for changing and saving lives.
Prince George’s County Fire Chief, Mark Bashoor, stressed the impact that Heat’s On – Water’s Off has, recalling the home from last year that had a completely clogged flue. When a flue is clogged, deadly carbon monoxide is released in the home. Luckily, through this program, that flue was discovered and fixed, saving the homeowner’s life.
While the tasks done throughout the day by the volunteers may have seemed simple and routine, they were no doubt lifesaving.
Seven members of the W. L. Gary service team volunteered their time at this event. Fred Lago, W. L. Gary Company Service Manager, helped organize this event as a member of the MCAMW Service Bureau board.