FEMA Grant Ensures Fire Safety Outreach, Education Program Will Continue
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) proudly announces that “Get Alarmed, Tennessee!” will continue into 2019 after Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials recently approved a $333,334 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant.
Created in November 2012 by the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO), “Get Alarmed, Tennessee!” is a free, in-home fire safety education and smoke alarm installation program that has been attributed to saving over 250 lives. Volunteers from over 520 Tennessee fire departments and civic organizations have distributed over 185,000 smoke alarms across the Volunteer State so far, most recently in Carroll County where volunteers installed 460 alarms. The program has been funded largely by FEMA grants since its inception.
“I’m glad the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office has been awarded this federal grant from FEMA for the ‘Get Alarmed’ program, which will help keep Tennesseans safer by providing even better fire safety education and distributing more smoke alarms to homes across our state,” said Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander.
Under the leadership of TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak, Tennessee’s fire mortality rate has been lowered through the implementation of programs like “Get Alarmed, Tennessee!” and the strengthening of partnerships between the SFMO and Tennessee fire departments.
“Tennessee fire departments and volunteers are the backbone of the ’Get Alarmed, Tennessee!’ program and are instrumental in helping reduce Tennessee’s fire fatality rate,” said TDCI Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak. “While we’ve made great progress, until every home is properly equipped with working smoke alarms, there is more work to be done to help save lives from accidental home fires. Working smoke alarms drastically reduce the chances of dying in a house fire, and I urge all Tennesseans to have working smoke alarms in their home.”
The FEMA grant continues a string of recent successes for the SFMO. In October, Governor Bill Haslam led the groundbreaking for a $5.7 million conference center that will be built at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy (TFACA). In September, the SFMO held the annual Fire Loss Symposium where leaders from across the state convened to create strategic solutions for combating fire risk. Tennessee fire departments were honored for their efforts at the event, including the Madison County Fire Department which won its second consecutive Excellence in Community Risk Reduction Award.
“Tennessee is an example for other states to follow when it comes to leadership and fire prevention,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner of Fire Prevention Gary Farley. “The FEMA grant funding, the construction of the new conference center, and events like the Fire Loss Symposium demonstrate that Tennessee is dedicated to saving lives and building relationships with our partners.”
For more information on fire safety and to download a free high-resolution calendar, visit tn.gov/fire.