*Media Advisory* Bedford Fire Department and State Fire Marshal to Honor Local Young Hero

Robert Bongiorno
Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
David Grunes, Fire Chief
55 Great Road
Bedford, MA 01730

For Immediate Release

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2016

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-690-0003
Email: [email protected]

*Media Advisory* Bedford Fire Department and State Fire Marshal to Honor Local Young Hero

The Bedford Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal will honor 9-year-old Jacoby Garber with a Student Awareness of Fire Education “Young Hero” award for helping his family evacuate their home after the attached garage caught fire. (Courtesy Photo Bedford Fire Department)

BEDFORD — Chief David Grunes is pleased to announce that the Bedford Fire Department and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey will honor a 9-year-old resident as a Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) “Young Hero” after he used fire safety skills to evacuate his family from their home when the smoke alarms began to sound.


Friday, Feb. 17 at 9:30 a.m.


Lt. Job Lane Elementary School, in the gymnasium, 66 Sweetwater Ave., Bedford


On Friday, December 23, 2016 at approximately 9:20 p.m., 9-year-old Jacoby Garber was at his house, 2 Pond Circle, playing a game with his father in the family room, which is above the home’s garage, when the smoke alarms began to sound.

Jacoby and his father walked downstairs and saw smoke and fire in the garage. While his father investigated, Jacoby knew just what to do…

Two months earlier during Fire Prevention month, Rob Ackerman, Principal of the Lt. Job Lane Elementary School, welcomed Bedford Firefighter Nick Anderson to talk to third grade students about fire safety as part of the S.A.F.E. program, which is supported by the Department of Fire Services.

Utilizing the information he learned in the class, Jacoby dialed 911 and was connected to Bedford Emergency Communications Officer Maryellen Brickey. He then clearly and calmly stated his name, address and described the problem to Brickey, just as he was taught by Firefighter Anderson.

Upon arrival to the home, firefighters found an involved fire in the attached garage, which they were able to quickly extinguish. Heat damage was contained to the garage and the remainder of the home sustained some smoke damage. No injuries were reported.

“We’re extremely proud that Jacoby was able to use what he learned in school through the S.A.F.E. Program to save his family in a real-life emergency,” Chief Grunes said. “His quick, clam and correct response prevented people from getting hurt and minimized the damage to his home.”

To recognize Jacoby’s actions, State Fire Marshal Ostroskey will present him with a S.A.F.E. “Young Heroes” award. Since the program launched in 1995, more than 340 children have been recognized for putting into practice the fire and life safety lessons they learned in the classroom during a real-life emergency to save themselves or others.

“Since the S.A.F.E. Program started, the average number of children who die in Massachusetts fires each year has dropped 72 percent,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “We are so proud of the partnerships between teachers, firefighters and families to raise a fire safe generation of children through this program.”

As part of the awards presentation, Firefighter Anderson will play a portion of the 911 recording.


    • Fire Chief David Grunes
    • State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey
    • Firefighter Nick Anderson
    • Principal Rob Ackerman
    • Police Lt. James Graham

About the Student Awareness of Fire Education Program

The Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) grant program is given to local fire departments that pair trained firefighter-educators with classroom teachers to conduct fire safety education in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. The primary mission of S.A.F.E. is to teach children key behaviors so they can prevent fires, survive those that do occur and respond correctly to emergencies. S.A.F.E. trains firefighters to deliver age-appropriate fire and life safety lessons in close coordination with classroom teachers and health educators. It is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.