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Hanover firefighter named Massachusetts Fire & Life Safety Educator of the year

A Hanover firefighter and paramedic who started a home safety visit program for vulnerable residents was named Fire & Life Safety Educator of the year at a statewide fire safety conference, state Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey’s office said Thursday.

Eric Johnson was one of more than a dozen fire safety educators statewide nominated for the award that was presented at the Massachusetts Fire & Life Safety Education Conference.

The award honors an individual or a team for their involvement and commitment to preventing fires and injuries, the state fire marshal’s office said in a statement.

“It recognizes those who have shown excellence in educating their community and demonstrated outstanding leadership, teamwork, creativity, and perseverance,” the statement said.

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Johnson started the home safety visit program in 2019. The program includes smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm installation, information on fire safety, home escape planning, burn awareness, fall prevention, and other tips.

Since starting, the program has completed more than 250 home visits. In its first year, Johnson installed a smoke alarm in a resident’s home. When a fire broke out two years later, the resident was able to escape and call for help.

“The resident heard the alarm, safely left the home, and called 9-1-1,” the statement said. “Crews responded and extinguished the fire.”

Johnson also manages the Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) and Senior SAFE programs for the Hanover Fire Department, which teaches fire and life safety to the town’s third-graders, seniors at the Council on Aging and senior living facilities, and residents of all ages at community events and health fairs, the statement said.


Adam Sennott can be reached at adam.sennott@globe.com.