By Ron Ayotte, Contributing Writer
Region – Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, in conjunction with State Fire Marshal Peter Ostrovsky and the Department of Fire Services, announced that 248 cities and towns received Student Awareness of Fire Education and Senior Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) grants.
The SAFE program was funded in 1995 and began in 1996, with 18 communities as part of the pilot program. The SAFE program allowed fire departments to send specially trained firefighters into the schools to teach fire safety. The Senior SAFE program began in 2014 to educate the aging population about fire safety and fall prevention.
According to the Governor’s Office, the average number of children dying in fires annually has dropped by 76 percent since the SAFE program began. The Senior SAFE program is in its sixth year, providing firefighters with the funding to deliver fire safety education to another vulnerable population – seniors.
Marlborough, Shrewsbury, Hudson, Westborough, Northborough and Southborough each earned grants of between $6,000 and $9,000 for their SAFE programs.