Orange Fire Dept. gets 2 grants for fire safety programs

An ambulance parked outside the Orange Fire Station.

An ambulance parked outside the Orange Fire Station. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ


Staff Writer

Published: 06-08-2024 5:15 PM

ORANGE — The town’s Fire Department has received two state grants to fund programs aimed at protecting and educating the demographics most vulnerable to fire injuries and death.

Chief James Young said he learned at the end of May that his department has secured $4,699 from the state’s Student Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) grant program and $2,199 from the Senior SAFE program, which supports fire and life safety education for people ages 65 and up.

“The death rates among those demographics are much higher than the rest of the population,” he said.

Young explained the grant proposals were written by firefighter/paramedic Meaghan Ahearn, who also serves as his department’s public education coordinator.

The chief mentioned the SAFE grant program benefits students in preschool through 12th grade. He mentioned this includes school visits for his firefighters and student tours of the Fire Station. He also said the money funds “Stop, Drop and Roll” education programs for younger students.

Meanwhile, the Senior SAFE grant finances fire and safety education programming for people ages 65 and up. The department uses the money to purchase and distribute File of Life cards or magnets, which list someone’s medical history for firefighters in the event that a patient or family member is unable to provide one. Young also mentioned the department distributes lock boxes so firefighters can access a key to get into someone’s residence in case the resident can’t make it to the door.

Young said he is grateful his department gets these grants every year.

“These grants fully fund our public education programs,” he said. Without the grants, “we would either have to cease these programs or they would have to be funded through the tax base.”

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