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Midwest City Fire Department handing out alarm system for hearing impaired

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The Midwest City Fire Department is hoping to save lives with an alarm system for the hearing impaired.

 The department partnered with Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation to get the equipment that was funded through a grant from FEMA.

 The Midwest City Fire Department has about 25 alarms to install in people’s homes for free.

 By touch and sight the smoke detector system sends a disruptive awakening for those that are deaf or hard of hearing.

 "This is not a new technology. It's been around for years, but to us it's new," Fire Chief Bert Norton said.

 When a typical smoke alarm goes off the sound transmits to a vibrating alarm for the hearing impaired. That alarm then reads “fire” and starts to move.

 "These bed shakers go between the mattresses and when the smoke detector goes off  it gets alerted and it vibrates the bed to let the person that's sleeping know to get up and get out of their house," Norton said.

 The vibrating alarm also connects to another device that flashes a bright strobe light.

 "Smoke detectors are the link between getting people out of their house. Making sure that no one dies in a fire," Norton said.

 The detectors for the hearing impaired are additional tools that will help firefighters do their job.

 "While firefighters are hired to fight fires we do believe in saving lives as well. So anything that we can get into the hands of the citizens that's going to make them safer, then we feel like we've done our job," Norton said.

 If you are a Midwest City resident and need an alarm system call the fire department at 405-739-1356.