STOW MA — Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that 253 fire departments have been awarded public fire education grants. Two hundred-fifty fire departments will receive Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) program grants to work with classroom teachers to deliver fire and life safety lessons. Of these, 238 fire departments will also receive a Senior SAFE program grant to work with older adults on fire and life safety. Three communities will receive Senior SAFE grants only.
Wilmington received a S.A.F.E. grant in the amount of $4,308 and a Senior S.A.F.E. grant in the amount of $2,615.
“The S.A.F.E. Program has played an important role in educating the next generation of fire safe children for 23 years,” said Governor Baker. “The program is a great example of state and local governments collaborating alongside teachers to improve the lives of young people.” The average number of children dying in fires annually has dropped by 72% since the S.A.F.E. Program began.
“In its 4th year, the Senior SAFE program is supporting fire educators who deliver fire safety education to seniors who are most at risk of dying in fires in Massachusetts,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Firefighters use these funds to provide older adults general home safety education and strategies on how to be better prepared to survive a fire,” she added. Fire departments partner with local senior service agencies.
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said, “The S.A.F.E. and Senior SAFE programs are having a great impact on the fire and life safety of our most vulnerable populations – children and elders.” He added, “The fire departments being supported in these public education efforts are increasing the safety of the people in their communities.”
The S.A.F.E. Program provides $1.2M through the Executive Office of the Public Safety and Security to local fire departments. The Senior SAFE program provides $600,000 in grant funds from fees paid by tobacco companies to the Fire Standard Compliant Cigarette Program to ensure their products meet the fire safety requirements to be sold in Massachusetts. The programs are administered by the state Department of Fire Services.
(NOTE: The above press release is from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.)