GLOUCESTER — Chief Eric Smith and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey are pleased to report that the Gloucester Fire Department has been awarded $4,565 for the Fiscal Year 2020 Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) Program and $2,552 for the Senior SAFE Program by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.
“Our firefighters enjoy working closely with our school teachers to help youngsters learn what they can do to prevent fires, to survive those that do occur, and how to respond correctly to fires and other emergencies,” Chief Smith said.
The S.A.F.E. Program has been expanded to offer funds to local communities in support of senior fire prevention training.
“The Senior SAFE Program will help us work with the seniors in our community who are most at risk of dying in a fire,” Chief Smith said. “Seniors are the age group most at risk of dying in a fire. This program educates seniors on fire prevention, general home safety and how to be better prepared in the event of a fire.”
The S.A.F.E. Program provides $1.2 million 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.
Both programs are administered by the state’s Department of Fire Services.
Key to both programs is specially trained fire educators to work with classroom teachers and seniors to deliver age-appropriate lessons on fire and life safety. The key fire and life safety behaviors in the school-based program meet both the requirements of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Health Curriculum Frameworks and the state Department of Fire Services Curriculum Planning Guidebook.
The average number of children who die in fires each year in Massachusetts has dropped 76 percent since the program started compared to a similar time frame before it started.
“This is the 25th year of the S.A.F.E. Program in Massachusetts and we are truly reaching our goal of raising a fire safe generation of children,” Ostroskey said. “We hope to have the same success with the Senior SAFE Program in reducing deaths and injuries to older adults.”
For more information about the Student Awareness of Fire Education or Senior SAFE Programs, call Chief Smith at 978-281-9760 or go to www.mass.gov/dfs and type “SAFE” in the “search this organization” box.