The following announcement came from the Watertown Fire Department:
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Watertown Fire Chief Robert Quinn announced that the Watertown Fire Department has been awarded $5,663 for the FY ’20 Student Awareness of Fire Education or S.A.F.E. Program and $2,730 for the Senior SAFE Program by the state Department of Fire Services.
Chief Quinn said, “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.”
The S.A.F.E. Program was 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,” said Chief Quinn. “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. We are partnering with Watertown Senior Center to provide fire safety information and install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” he added.
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.
The 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.
Ostroskey said, “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.” The average number of children who die in fires each year in Massachusetts has dropped 76% since the program started compared to a similar timeframe before it started. Ostroskey added, “Since consistent comprehensive fire education is the one thing we are doing for children that we are not doing for every other age group, I think it’s fair to say we are proving fire education works.”
He added, “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 please call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 617-972-6510.