Reading, MA -– Reading’s state legislative delegation is pleased to join with Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas A. Turco III to announce that the Reading Fire Department has been awarded $7,117 in state fire safety grants.
Reading is one of 248 communities receiving grant funding from the state Department of Fire Services in Fiscal Year 2020. Nearly $2 million in grant funding is being distributed to municipal fire departments this year.
The Reading Fire Department will receive $4,565 through the Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) program, which teaches students in grades K-12 about the dangers of smoking and other fire safety hazards. The department has also been approved for a $2,552 grant under the Senior SAFE program, which helps seniors learn more about fire prevention, general home safety and how to be better prepared in the event of a fire.
“The Reading Fire Department has done a tremendous job using this grant funding to educate schoolchildren and older adults about what they can do to prevent fires and how to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “This is a proven life-saving initiative that I am proud to support.”
“Providing communities such as Reading with the necessary resources to educate our children and seniors on fire safety is critical,”said Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn). “This grant of $7,117 to the Reading Fire Department through the S.A.F.E program will ensure the Town has what it needs to properly educate its residents on important life-saving fire prevention and safety measures.”
“This generous grant supports both public safety and education in our communities, by ensuring that the community has the information and resources it needs to ensure fire and home safety,” said Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester). “I’m grateful that the Reading Fire Department, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is active and engaged with this important public education initiative.”
The S.A.F.E. program was created 25 years ago, and was later expanded to include fire prevention training for seniors. Since the S.A.F.E. program’s inception, the average annual rate of child fire deaths in Massachusetts has been reduced by 76%.
“S.A.F.E. is an example of the many successful and valuable programs that the legislature and the governor support on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. “We are thankful to the legislature for their support of these vital programs, and thankful for expanding S.A.F.E. to include older adult fire prevention education. Additionally, we appreciate and applaud the continued efforts of local fire departments to maintain the highest level of service and professionalism to their communities.”