Since 1950, The Fire Departments of Enfield has been offering fire prevention and community education to the town’s residents. We have recently increased efforts to educate our youth and community even further. This has been in response to four tragic deaths due to home fires that occurred in town over the past four years. In each case, the home was either devoid of smoke detectors or had smoke detectors that were not working.
Almost daily, our firefighters continue to respond to fire calls in homes where there are either non-functioning smoke detectors or no smoke detectors at all. To help remedy this situation, our outreach efforts are aimed at promoting the use of fire detectors and at addressing other fire prevention and safety issues.
One of our signature programs is the School Fire Prevention and Education Program, which benefits approximately 500 third-graders each year. Our organization has worked with teachers and counselors in the Enfield school system to strengthen and develop an age-appropriate, approved curriculum consisting of ten 40-minute sessions taking place in classrooms throughout the school year. Topics include electrical safety, home hazards, how to utilize 911, safety planning and the dangers of matches and lighters. Our most important objective is to provide the students with a clear understanding of the importance of fire safety in the home. We encourage students to work with their families to develop a fire safety plan and emergency escape route.
The five fire districts share the cost of providing a firefighter to work within the schools part-time to deliver this program. This program costs $18,000 per year, including the firefighter’s time and all necessary materials.
The School Fire Prevention and Education Program is a unique collaborative effort between our fire departments and the town’s public and parochial schools. Together, we are improving the safety and well-being of our children. Modified versions of the program are offered to children in other grade levels, preschoolers and senior citizens.
The Fire Departments of Enfield offers several additional programs aimed at fire safety. In 2004, our organization received a $42,000 grant from the federal government’s Emergency Preparedness and Response program to purchase a smoke house trailer and smoke detectors for our smoke detector and fire prevention awareness efforts. Our town-wide “Get Protected, Get Detected” awareness campaign was officially launched in the fall of 2005. We are excited about this project. The trailer allows us to provide a hands-on educational approach to fire safety and disaster preparedness. This mobile training vehicle is used to educate children and seniors at schools, recreational centers, daycare and preschool programs, libraries, senior and moderate rental housing complexes, the Senior Center, and at our 16 neighborhood parks.
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