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Framingham receives state grant to improve fire prevention and safety education

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  January 18, 2013 01:50 PM

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The Town of Framingham will receive a $7,625 grant through the Student Awareness of Fire Education, or SAFE, Program, to help educate local students about fire prevention and safety.

The grants are distributed each year through the Department of Fire Services in the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

The program seeks to educate students to recognize the dangers of fire, including the fire hazards that smoking-related materials pose. The grants give local fire departments the resources so that firefighters can provide fire and life safety programs to students in grades K-12.

In combination with other fire education and prevention initiatives, the program has led to a 70 percent decrease in child fire deaths since 1995 when the program was started, from an average of 18 per year to 5 per year, according to state legislators.

State Sen. Karen Spilka said she was pleased that Framingham, who applied for the grant earlier, received the funding.

“This grant will ensure our students have the skills they need to be safe and prepared in their everyday lives," Spilka said in a statement.

State Rep. Tom Sannicandro said the program helps provide safety information to kids who otherwise would not now about the danger of playing with fire, or how to react when seeing smoke.

“Trainings like these allow kids to stay safe and possibly save themselves or others," Sannicandro said. "It’s great that Framingham will have the chance to once again participate.”

“Often our children are the first point of contact for educating the rest of us in good public health practices,” said state Rep. Chris Walsh. “This very important grant will ripple out information on fire safety into the community and have an effect far larger than any other method.”

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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