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Fire Department to use grants to teach safety

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The Fire Department plans to educate hundreds of residents on fire-safety techniques, thanks to a grant from the state’s Office of Public Safety and Security. The town was awarded a $4,686 Student Awareness of Fire Education grant, which will be used to educate children in Rockland schools, as well as a $3,018 Senior SAFE grant that will to target adults and the elderly through programs at Rockland’s Senior Center. Fire Chief Scott Duffey said in a phone interview that the money will enable a firefighter to visit every third-grade classroom in town — in both public and private schools — at least four times, reaching a total of 200 students. “It’s a program the state has funded for years, and for whatever reason, we had never applied for it. I can remember being in kindergarten and first grade, having firemen visit and give us this training,” said Duffey, who grew up in Rockland. “It really stayed with me.” Duffey also said he hopes to reach as many as 400 people through the senior grant, with classes focusing on cooking safety, oxygen tanks, smoking, and smoke detectors.

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