Reading has been awarded $6,954 in fire safety grant funding by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Department of Fire Services for Fiscal Year 2019.
The Reading Fire Department will receive $4,354 for 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 will also receive a $2,600 grant for the Senior SAFE program, which educates seniors on the topics of fire prevention, general home safety and how to be better prepared in the event of a fire.
“The S.A.F.E. program and the Senior SAFE program have proven to be highly effective in educating our children and our seniors about the importance of fire prevention and how to keep themselves safe in the event of a fire,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “I am proud to support this life-saving initiative, and I know the town of Reading will put this grant money to good use.”
“Fire safety grant funding continues to provide the support our public safety officials need to educate our children and our seniors,” said State Representative Rich Haggerty (D-Woburn). “This educational programming is a great example of how we can positively affect outcomes by teaching everyone what to do in the event of fire.”
“Fire prevention has always been a serious mission for the Reading Fire Department, and I’m pleased that the Commonwealth is supporting that work with grant funding,” said Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester). “Fire safety education for our most vulnerable populations – children and seniors – is essential, and I thank the Reading Fire Department for its tireless efforts in this endeavor.”
Since the creation of the S.A.F.E. program 24 years ago, the average annual rate of child fire deaths has been reduced by 74%. Six years ago, the program was expanded to include fire prevention training for seniors, who are among the most vulnerable populations at risk of fire-related deaths.
“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.”