By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – The Marlborough Fire Department has been awarded two grants in the amount of $5,786 and $3,217 by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. The City Council formally accepted the funding which was announced in a communication from Mayor Arthur Vigeant at the council's Jan. 13 meeting.
One grant is for the Student Awareness Fire Education program and the second grant is for the Senior Awareness Fire Education.? Both programs, known as S.A.F.E., will be instrumental in educating multi-generational populations in the city on a variety of fire safety techniques and protection.
In his communication to the mayor confirming their request for the funding was approved, Fire Chief James Fortin included a memo from State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan proclaiming the effectiveness of the S.A.F.E. program.
“Nineteen years ago, the fire service advocated to the legislature for the creation of the S.A.F.E. program.? Since that time average annual child fire deaths have been reduced by 70 percent,” stated Coan.
“In [fiscal year] 2014 the S.A.F.E. program was expanded to offer funds to local communities in support of senior fire prevention training.? Seniors are the most vulnerable of populations at risk of fire-related deaths,” he said.? “This program is aimed at educating seniors on fire prevention, general home safety and how to be better prepared in the event of a fire.? It is our hope that with this opportunity we can recreate the success with our older population that we have had with children.”
Firefighter Christy Clement has served as staff coordinator for the S.A.F.E. program for the past five years, Fortin said.
“Christy has been working with elementary school children, grades 1 to 4, and it is working very well,” Fortin noted.? “She is working with the state to develop the senior program. ”
Awareness programs will be conducted in senior housing throughout the city and at the senior center.
Visits from Scouts and other youth groups are welcomed by firefighters who provide on-site demonstrations and informational programs to instill knowledge and safety awareness.? Anyone desiring to arrange a visit can call 508-624-6986 or 508-485-2323.
In other business, a public hearing on the application for a special permit for Sky Studios to open an exercise and fitness facility, specializing in pole and aerial aerobics, at 289 Elm St., was held and drew no opposition.
Suzanne Morreale Leeber, president of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce, spoke in favor of the application.
“It would be something very positive for our community,” she said.
The application will now be reviewed by the Urban Affairs Committee where it will be finalized and brought before the full council later this month for a final vote.