Lieutenant Robert Hendrigan, Public Education Officer for the Brockton Fire Department in Brockton, Massachusetts says that since the department launched its High-Rise Apartment Safety and Emergency Preparedness Program in 2012 with the support of the Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant, there’s been a significant improvement in safety practices among residents. He said the fire department fields more calls from the public about safety concerns. In addition, data from mid October through the end of December of 2012 showed a 7.7 percent drop in expected incidents reported.
Historically, Brockton has had a disproportionate number of emergency calls coming from five high-rise properties. The department conducted the Safety and Emergency Preparedness Program at the seven Brockton Housing Authority high-rise apartment buildings, providing multiple classes to reach as many residents as possible. Topics covered included cooking, smoking, heating, electrical, and candle safety, as well as the dangers of hoarding, slips, trips, and falls, and preparing for emergencies. A number of residents followed up by calling the fire department with additional questions.
“Without funding we may not have had the opportunity to make Brockton a safer place,” said Lt. Hendrigan. Because of the success of the program the fire department is expanding the program, introducing it to other properties where incidents have occurred in high numbers.
The application deadline for the 2013 Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant is February 8.