The Wellesley Fire Department has been awarded Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E) and Senior SAFE grants from the Commonwealth totaling almost $8,000.
Wellesley has been awarded $5,281 for Student SAFE and $2,680 for Senior SAFE.
Overall, about $2M in grants are being awarded to 239 municipal fire departments to support student and senior fire education in collaboration with teachers and senior centers.
Pre pandemic, Wellesley Fire Department Lt. Paul Delaney says he used grant money to go into the schools—Pre-K to high school— to teach fire safety. The money was also used for middle school Fire Rescue Camp, which was canceled last summer (unclear how that will be handled this year), and senior Thanksgiving dinner.
“During the pandemic I have been doing some fire safety via zoom with the schools and the senior citizens,” Delaney says.
Educational efforts across the state have been seen as having tangible results: No children died in fires in Massachusetts last year, and the average number of children dying in fires has dropped by nearly 80% annually since the Student SAFE program began.
Senior education typically involves home visits for smoke and carbon monoxide alarm installations as well as for presentations at senior facilities.