Hudson – Representative Kate Hogan announced that grants totaling more than $7,300 have been awarded to Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) and Senior SAFE in Hudson for Fiscal Year 2017. Administered by the Department of Fire Services, the two programs provide resources to local fire departments to conduct fire and safety education for students and older adults, respectively.
“The annual S.A.F.E. and Senior SAFE grants enable fire departments to partner with local schools, senior centers, and councils on aging to better equip children and seniors in the event of a fire, while also providing them with the tools and resources to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place,” Hogan said. “I’m proud that the commonwealth of Massachusetts remains committed year after year to facilitating fire safety programming geared at protecting our most vulnerable residents.”
Established in 1995, the S.A.F.E. Program began as the Student Awareness of Fire Education Program – a grant program to local fire departments that puts firefighter-educators in classrooms to conduct fire safety education in grades K-12. Since that time, average annual child fire deaths have been reduced by 70 percent.
In 2013, Hogan sponsored the creation of the Senior SAFE program after multiple house fires killed seniors in her region. This initiative is aimed at educating seniors on fire prevention, general home safety, and how to be better prepared in the event of a fire. In addition, these funds provide important safety devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, nightlights, and house numbers, where needed, to protect the at-risk senior population.
“These programs continue to have a positive effect in building a ‘fire safe’ Massachusetts,” said Hudson Fire Chief John Blood. “Over the past year we have needed to bring on two more trained fire safety educators in order to keep up with the demand for the program. Not only have we been working with the young people of Hudson since the program was developed in 1995, now with the development of the Senior SAFE program four years ago we are now able to reach out to both our young and old in order to educate them in fire safety. Our community is extremely grateful for all the support from our Legislators over the past 21 years.”
The legislature funds these programs through the Executive Office of the Public Safety and Security and they are administered by the Department of Fire Services. For more information, go to www.mass.gov/dfs and type “SAFE” in the search box.