SOUTHBRIDGE, MA — Wilmington Fire Lieutenant William Cavanaugh was recently honored as a finalist for the Massachusetts Fire Department’s 2017 Fire & Life Safety Educator of the Year Award at the 23rd Annual Massachusetts Public Fire and Life Safety Education Conference.
Cavanaugh was described as follows:
Lt. Cavanaugh is a dedicated fire and life safety educator for all ages. Due to his energy and creativity, his older adult program has blossomed. His partnership with the Department of Elder Affairs has been instrumental in delivering high quality education for seniors. A Senior SAFE grant allows Cavanaugh and the Director of Elder Affairs to deliver safety programs several times each year. They learned that elders wanted more safety information and so Cavanaugh arranged a collaboration between the Department of Elder Affairs, the fire department and the Red Cross to install (or replace) smoke and CO alarms in the homes of elders. During installations, teams also check for other safety issues. Cavanaugh handles safety concerns from clutter to electrical hazards with delicacy and ease so that elders respond and make the changes he suggests. Lt. Cavanaugh was also instrumental in winning a “Remembering When” fire and fall prevention grant for the town. His leadership has made the program a tremendous success. Thirty-two elders completed the program and the town is running a second session this fall. Cavanaugh also brings the S.A.F.E. program to the Wilmington public schools. He teaches in classrooms and brings the fire safety trailer to town for Fire Prevention Week. His leadership, teamwork and compassion for all citizens and his passion for education and safety make him a remarkable asset for the residents of Wilmington.
The award was ultimately presented to Chelsea Firefighter Omar Frometa, a bi-lingual fire educator who has inspired fellow firefighters to join his programs for seniors, and school children from kindergarten to high school including special needs children. Other nominees recognized for their efforts included: Lincoln Fire Lt. Benjamin Juhola, Duxbury FF Harry Matthews, Cohasset Capt. Robert Forde, and Townsend Firefighter Jeffrey Cormier.
In addition to the award ceremony, more than 200 firefighter-educators, classroom teachers, elder service workers and injury prevention professionals attended the conference for workshops on teaching fire, life safety and injury prevention to all segments of the community, from pre-school children to senior citizens.
(NOTE: The above information is from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.)
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