FF/Medic Paul Ronco runs Fire Education/S.A.F.E Program at the Norwood Fire Department. Firefighter Paul, as he is known to the local school kids, grew up in Norwood and has been a firefighter for 23 years.
What is S.A.F.E?
Student Awareness of Fire Education(S.A.F.E.) is a grant program to local fire departments that puts trained firefighter-educators in classrooms to conduct fire safety education in grades Pre-K through 12. The primary mission of S.A.F.E. is to teach children key behaviors so they can prevent fires, survive those that do occur, and respond correctly to emergencies. S.A.F.E. trains firefighters to deliver age appropriate fire and life safety lessons in close coordination with classroom teachers and health educators.
Child fire deaths Drop 72% since S.A.F.E began
The average annual number of deaths of children under age 18 has fallen by 72% since S.A.F.E began in the Fall of 1995. During the 19 full years that S.A.F.E has been in effect, from 1996 to 2015, the average number of child fire deaths per year is 5.3. In the 19 years prior to the S.A.F.E. program, 1976-1994, the average number of fire child deaths per year was 18.5. Since S.A.F.E. began, there have been 332 documented Young Heroes - children who put into practice fire and life safety lessons they learned in the classroom during a real life emergency to save themselves or others.
Firefighter Paul oversees kids learning not to be afraid of firefighters in their gear!