BOSTON – Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) and Representative David K. Muradian, Jr. (R-Grafton) are excited to announce that the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services has awarded grants to the Towns of Upton and Northbridge for the Student Awareness of Fire Education or, "SAFE" program.
There are two types of SAFE grants: the original SAFE program was established 23 years ago as a state initiative to provide resources to local fire departments to conduct fire and life safety education programs in grades K-12. Their mission is to enable students to recognize the dangers of fire, and more specifically, the fire hazards that tobacco products can pose. The Senior SAFE program was created by the Legislature in the FY14 budget in order to help local fire departments to support fire and safety education for older adults, who are the most at risk of dying in fires in the Commonwealth.
Since the creation of the SAFE program, the average annual fire deaths for children have been reduced by 72%. The program provides training for children in schools teaching them how to create and practice home escape plans, stop, drop and roll, how to report fires and emergencies and helps reduce a child’s anxiety levels during stressful situations. The Department of Fire Safety hopes to have similar results with the Senior SAFE program by teaching them how to handle situations where oxygen is present and what to look for when one cannot hear a fire alarm.
“SAFE is a shining example of a successful and valuable program that the Commonwealth provides to its citizens,” stated Representative Muradian. “Teaching children, and now seniors, two of our more vulnerable populations, how to handle emergency situations with less anxiety will help keep all members of the community safe. I know that these funds will surely go to good use within our community.”
“Simply put, these grants save lives,” said Senator Moore. “Over the years, the grant program has supported efforts of local fire departments to reduce fire fatalities, and to ensure the safety of local residents. I am confident that these funds will be put to good use and congratulate the community on receiving this funding for fire prevention training.”
Under the FY18 budget, the Town of Upton will receive $3,708 for the SAFE Program and $2,415 for the Senior SAFE Program. Under the same budget, the Town of Northbridge Fire Department will receive $4,308 for the SAFE Program and $2,615 for the Senior SAFE Program.