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Press Releases / 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2010


Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano, FDNY Foundation Chairman Stephen Ruzow and the entire Foundation board today thanked U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Representative Peter King for their assistance in obtaining a $900,000 grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security to help expand and enhance the Department’s already successful fire safety education program.  Last year, New York experienced the fewest fire deaths ever on record, since the city began keeping the statistic over 90 years ago.  In the last three years, the Department and the Foundation have worked together to educate more than 1.5 million New Yorkers on fire safety, including outreach through written materials produced in 10 languages including Spanish, Mandarin and Urdu.

“The tragic reality every firefighter learns is that most fires are preventable,” Commissioner Cassano said.  “Part of our duty is to be proactive and do all we can to educate the public about the importance of fire safety.  To be effective, we’re constantly working to find new and innovative ways to reach people in various groups so they listen and pay attention to our important message.  Senator Schumer and Representative King clearly understand the importance of our mission and they’re both great friends of the FDNY.”

“This grant will go a long way toward helping the Department keep New Yorkers safe,” Ruzow said.  “We are grateful for Senator Schumer and Representative King’s assistance and we know their efforts will help us make a difference.  Working together, we can continue to make a real impact in our city.”

“These essential funds will not only help ensure that the FDNY will be able to expand and enhance their outstanding fire safety education program, but it is truly a life saving investment for millions of New Yorkers,” Senator Schumer said.  “An essential aspect of the FDNY’s mission is to educate the public about fire safety and their efforts have been paying off.  Fewer New Yorkers are hurt or killed each year as a result of fire safety education and it is vital that we continue to provide the FDNY with the tools they need to make New York the safest city in the world.  I am proud to have been able to help secure these funds for our city.  They will truly help to save lives.”

“As Chairman of the Congressional Fire Caucus and as Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee, I am proud of the FDNY’s Fire Safety Education program and am pleased to have played a role in getting funding for this critical program,” Representative King said.

The grant will be used to enhance a variety of existing fire safety education programs, including: interactive software with animation and graphics specifically targeted to children in various age groups; web-based presentations directed at parents in six different languages; teacher workshops so that fire safety education can be more easily integrated into the classroom; videos in six different languages and targeted to specific groups, including the elderly, the disabled and new immigrants; touch-screen kiosks in highly visible locations to help share fire safety information; and training members of the FDNY’s Fire Safety Education Unit to use these new materials most effectively.

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Steve Ritea, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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