For Immediate Release - January 27, 2017

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Public Fire Education Grants to 234 Fire Departments

The Baker-Polito Administration announced that 234 fire departments have been awarded public fire education grants. Two hundred thirty-two 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, 220 fire departments will also receive a Senior SAFE program grant to work with older adults on fire and life safety.

“Massachusetts S.A.F.E. Program has played an integral part in educating students and seniors about fire safety for more than two decades,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to provide these critical safety grants again this year to keep our children and older adults informed and safe.”

“S.A.F.E. grants are another important tool for the Commonwealth to support our cities and towns,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These grants play an important role in facilitating partnerships between firefighters and local schools or senior service agencies to better educate our citizens on fire prevention, general home safety and emergency preparedness.”

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey 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 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 Department of Fire Services.

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.