Four SouthCoast communities are getting over a total of $34,000 in assistance with educating both children and the elderly about fire awareness.

The funds are coming through Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) and Senior SAFE grants. Senator Mark Montigny and Representative Robert Koczera helped secure the grants.

"Ensuring our children and seniors receive basic fire prevention training, including basic home safety and how to respond in case of a fire, is crucial towards preventing fire related deaths," Senator Montigny said. "We will continue to support this program in the legislature to help protect the well-being of residents most at-risk from harm."

The Dartmouth District 3 Fire Department ($6,202), Fairhaven Fire Department/EMS ($7,336), Mattapoisett Fire Department ($6,541) and New Bedford Fire Department ($14,039) will receive the funding.

Since implementing the SAFE program nearly 20 years ago, annual child-related deaths have been reduced by 70 percent. Senior SAFE programs were created just three years ago, but it is expected that similar positive impacts will also occur for senior-related deaths.

"I am pleased New Bedford has been awarded SAFE grants to continue to provide important, life-saving training to New Bedford school children and senior citizens. These grants make children and seniors aware of what to do should a fire occur,” Representative Koczera said, “And could result in the saving of a life. I will continue to advocate for these funds.”

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