State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and New Bedford Fire Chief Michael Gomes announced that the New Bedford Fire Department has been awarded $11,300 for the FY ’12 Student Awareness of Fire Education or S.A.F.E. Program by the State Department of Fire Services.
Chief Gomes said, “Our firefighters enjoy working closely with our school teachers to help children learn what they can do to prevent fires, to survive those that do occur, and how to respond correctly to fires and other emergencies.”
The Governor and the Legislature fund the S.A.F.E. Program through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the program is administered by the State Department of Fire Services. Specially trained fire educators work with classroom teachers to deliver age-appropriate lessons on fire and life safety. The key fire and life safety behaviors meet both the requirements of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Health Curriculum Frameworks and the State Department of Fire Services Curriculum Planning Guidebook.
Coan said, “This is the 17th year of the S.A.F.E. Program in Massachusetts and we are truly reaching our goal of raising a fire safe generation of children.” The average number of children who die in fires each year in Massachusetts has dropped by 66%, or two-thirds, since the program started compared to a similar time frame before it started.
Coan added, “Since consistent comprehensive fire education is the one thing we are doing for children that we are not doing for every other age group, I think it’s fair to say we are proving fire education works.”
For more information about the Student Awareness of Fire Education Program please call Capt. Brian J. Arruda at (508) 991-6120 or go to www.mass.gov/dfs and type “SAFE” in the Search box.