Since 2003, the Springfield, Massachusetts, Fire Department has seen the dramatic effects of budget cuts: more than 50 firefighters have lost their jobs, and a fire station and two companies have shuttered their doors. At the same time, the community's budding immigrant population has generated a large number of fire calls, most of which have been the result of unsafe cooking practices.
Since the fire department lacked funding to educate this group, it took action. NFPA Journal columnist Lisa Braxton explains how NFPA's Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant helped the department create a new safety initiative. "We needed a way to communicate with [the immigrant groups] effectively about fire prevention," Springfield's Fire Marshal David Rivera tells Braxton.
Learn about Springfield's new fire safety initiative and the Jensen grant in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.