Fred A. Mitchell Jr., Fire Chief
47 Central Street
Georgetown, MA 01833
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Photos: Georgetown Fire Department Honors Young Heroes
GEORGETOWN — Chief Fred A. Mitchell Jr. and the Georgetown Fire Department are pleased to announce that three Georgetown sisters were honored as “Young Heroes” from the Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) Program yesterday.
The three girls were honored during a ceremony at the Georgetown Fire Station on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
Georgetown Police Lt. Scott Hatch and Cynthia Ouellette, from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, joined State Rep. Leonard Mirra, State Sen. Bruce Tarr and Joe Bonavita, of the Georgetown Board of Selectmen, in honoring the three sisters for their smart thinking during a house fire in August.
“Fire prevention education, especially for our children, is a vital part of the Georgetown Fire Department’s mission,” Chief Mitchell said. “We are proud that three of our own used what they learned during the S.A.F.E. program to prevent damage to their home and, more importantly, keep their family safe.”
On Friday, Aug. 26 at 10:15 p.m., 13-year-old Maya Sanderson and her two sisters, Mackenzie, 11, and Maisie, 5, were at home when they smelled smoke. The sisters told their mother who found no traces of smoke or fire, but for the next hour, the girls insisted they could smell smoke.
Upon further investigation, their mother found smoke coming from an exterior wall of the home. She called 911 and the three girls assisted her in evacuating everyone from the house, including family pets. When the Georgetown Fire Department arrived, they were able to quickly extinguish the fire.
“Thanks to the persistence and quick thinking of these three girls, this family’s home was saved from further damage,” Deputy Fire Chief Rusty Ricker said. “This is a perfect example of fire prevention and education at work.”
Maya, Mackenzie and Maisie learned how to correctly respond to a fire through the Georgetown S.A.F.E. Program. Since the S.A.F.E. program began in 1995, there have been 340 documented “Young Heroes” who have put into practice the fire and life safety lessons they learned in the classroom during a real life emergency to save themselves or others.
“We are so proud of these young heroes, using the lessons they learn through the S.A.F.E. Program on how to respond to fire emergencies to save themselves and others,” State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said.
During the 20 years that S.A.F.E. has been in effect, the average number of fire deaths of children under age 18 has fallen by 72 percent.
About the Student Awareness of Fire Education Program
The Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) is a grant program to local fire departments that teams trained firefighter-educators with classroom teachers to conduct fire safety education in grades Pre-kindergarten through 12. The primary mission of S.A.F.E. is to teach children key behaviors so they can prevent fires, survive those that do occur and respond correctly to emergencies. S.A.F.E. trains firefighters to deliver age-appropriate fire and life safety lessons in close coordination with classroom teachers and health educators. It is managed by the state Department of Fire Services.