The current S.A.F.E. Program's focus is on grades Pre-K through 6th. We attempt to provide at least 2 presentations per year to this age group. We are working towards a more comprehensive approach to fire safety education by working with the Health Coordinator for the Shrewsbury Public Schools. We are working towards an institutionalization of fire safety and injury prevention by developing standardized curriculum to be taught by both firefighters and teachers on a regular basis.
We mainly present fire safety lessons in a classroom setting. We do have some auditorium presentations for both students and parents. These larger presentations are also replayed on public access television. The program uses posters, PowerPoint, video (DVD), newspaper articles and NFPA curriculum in the classroom.
We are working on standardized testing and evaluation methods to evaluate our students and our S.A.F.E. educators. We currently have 8 active firefighter educators who have all completed the 40 hour P.F.A.L.S.E. class at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. All participate in the state conference on an annual basis. We conduct interviews with school principals on an annual basis and follow up with teachers for their feedback.
The program has produced 2 "Young Heroes" and has received much positive feedback from school administrators. Parents often complement our program whenever they visit the fire station. With each visit, we try to incorporate an educational lesson into the experience. All firefighters in the department are trained in customer service and present informative station tours. Our success has also shown up in the statistical decrease in juvenile fire setting and fire calls in general.
The Shrewsbury Fire Department's S.A.F.E. Program is a year-round project that works with numerous organizations and businesses in the community. We are always looking for new partners and opportunities to spread the messages of fire safety, injury prevention and the dangers of tobacco use.