For Immediate Release - January 13, 2016

State Awards Public Fire Education Grants to 229 Fire Departments

The Baker-Polito Administration announced that 229 fire departments have been awarded public fire education grants. Two hundred twenty-eight (228) 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, 212 fire departments will also receive a Senior SAFE program grant to work with older adults on fire and life safety. One (1) department will receive a Senior SAFE grant only.

“This is the 21st 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,” said Governor Baker, “The average number of children who die in fires each year in Massachusetts has dropped by over 70%.” The S.A.F.E. Program allows trained firefighter-educators to work with teachers to deliver age-appropriate fire and life safety lessons that also meet the requirements of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Health Curriculum Frameworks.

“Seniors are most at risk of dying in fires in Massachusetts and the Senior SAFE program works to change that statistic,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Firefighters use these funds to better educate seniors on fire prevention, general home safety and how to be better prepared to survive a fire,” she added. Fire departments partner with local senior service agencies.

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said, “The S.A.F.E. and Senior SAFE programs are having a huge impact on the fire and life safety of our most vulnerable populations – children and elders.” He added, “The fire departments engaged in these public education programs are increasing the safety of the people in their communities.”

The S.A.F.E. Program provides $1.25M 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 programs 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.