March 21, 2013 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has named the Springfield Fire Department of Massachusetts as the recipient of the 2013 Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant. The department’s “Multi-Language Public Education Fire Safety Initiative,” concentrating on Springfield’s growing population of Somali, Russian, Nepali, Vietnamese, and Latino immigrants, will be supported by the $5,000 grant. The initiative will also reach out to residents over the age of 65.
According to the Springfield Fire Department’s program description, the city has experienced a sharp decline in industry, jobs, and population over the past few decades. It has one of the highest rates of concentrated poverty in the United States. In 2010, 88 percent of building fires in Springfield took place in residential properties, with unattended cooking or unsafe cooking practices accounting for 61 percent. English is spoken as a second language in 34 percent of households, compared with 21 percent statewide.
NFPA awards this grant annually to support a community-wide fire and life safety education program or campaign. The Springfield fire safety program will be conducted primarily at cultural and community centers. A three-part approach will be used to evaluate the success of the program: a before-and-after comparison of volume of emergency responses, instructor evaluations, and a 10-question survey completed by residents.
The Jensen Grant was named in honor of Rolf H. Jensen, founder of RJA Group, Inc., one of the largest fire protection consulting firms in the world. Recipients are chosen based on these criteria: demonstration of a plan to implement a community-wide fire and life safety program/campaign aimed at the general public or a targeted group; clearly stated goals and objectives; staff assigned to implement the program/campaign; and a final report, including an overview of the project, number of people reached, materials used or developed, media coverage, life saves, etc.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at http://www.nfpa.org/freeaccess
Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275