The SAFE Program again had another busy year with enrollment in public schools up and the number of preschools in town increasing. Each preschool was visited by either the SAFE staff, or other members of the Norton Fire Department, at least once, and at other times on request from school personnel. In addition to the preschools, the kindergarten and first grades had structured safety programs delivered by the trained SAFE staff.
The Norton Fire/Rescue Department also had another successful open house program, drawing an estimated 500 residents to the fire station to view the tools and apparatus used on a daily basis by the fire department. As good as this year, and past years have been, tougher times are ahead as the budget for the fiscal year 2003 SAFE program has been cut at the state house. Each year the SAFE program is funded by a competitive grant writing process and divided up amongst the applying departments. This year there was no money available to hand out so departments are left to find this funding elsewhere if possible.
We at the Norton Fire/Rescue Department will do our best to continue the top-notch public education programs the children of this town have come to expect and have fun with. We will continue to send our duty personnel to as many preschools as possible; however, sometimes this may not be possible due to our increasing call volume with emergencies. The Norton Fire/Rescue Department will overcome this small obstacle as we have in the past and continue to provide second-to-none service for the residents of the Town of Norton.