Springfield Fire Department

thesentinel.com

The Springfield Fire Department is beefing up its fire prevention and safety education efforts to the tune of $27,000.

On Tuesday it officially accepted the grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It requires a five percent match from the department. Officials will use the money to expand existing fire safety efforts, including purchasing 1,000 smoke alarms, 250 fire extinguishers, 50 escape ladders and a part-time program coordinator.

KSMU archives

The Springfield Fire Department responded to nearly 16,000 calls for service in 2015, with just over half of those medical emergencies.

The numbers were released Tuesday in the department’s annual report.

City of Springfield

Each year, the Springfield Fire Department hosts an awards ceremony to honor its personnel.  At the annual event last night, dozens were recognized.  Among them were several members of Springfield Water Rescue Team who performed dangerous swift water rescues during flooding over the last year.  Two civilians who went into a burning house in January to rescue two young were also honored.

Assistant chief of operations, David Pennington, was named Fire Officer of the Year and rescue specialist, Jeff Elliott, was named Firefighter of the Year.

Katy Warner / via Flickr

Springfield students whose families are in need of a smoke alarm will receive one thanks in part to a donation from the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield.

The organization announced Wednesday afternoon its intention to donate 400 of the devices to the Springfield Fire Department’s free smoke alarm program.

Department officials will be visiting kindergarten through 5th grade classes as part of October’s Fire Prevention Month. Surveys will be issued asking about a family’s smoke alarm inventory, and any family needing one will be contacted.

Tim Balogh / Flickr

The first half of 2015 has seen a significant drop in fires in the city of Springfield.  The number of fires fell 28 percent from the first half of 2014.  Last year between January 1st and July 1st, there were 484 fires in the city, and during the same period this year there were 349.

Structure fires also fell 28 percent this year—dropping from 173 during the first half of 2014 to 124 so far in 2015.

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