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Blumenthal, Murphy, Esty Announce Federal Grant for Meriden Interactive Safety Trailer

(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-5) announced today a $56,296 grant to purchase an interactive safety simulation trailer to provide hands-on safety training and guidance for Meriden residents.

The grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

The safety trailer is a joint project of the Meriden Fire Department, Meriden Police Department, Meriden Department of Health and Human Services, Meriden Office of Emergency Management, and the Meriden Public Safety Dispatch Center to reduce injury and deaths among high-risk populations.

The emergency simulation trailer will give residents hands-on experience with potential health, fire and safety hazards, educating users about the importance of prevention and planning, including mapping escape routes, use of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, bicycle safety, burn prevention, trip and fall hazards, kitchen safety, use of 911, storm preparation, and creation of emergency kits and plans. Props available in the trailer include rugs, electrical cords, dish towels on stoves, and a gun safety lock and cabinet. The trailer will also be equipped with a television for educational videos.

The trailer will supplement Meriden’s existing Fire Safety School Curriculum and City Outreach Programs currently hosted by the Police Department and Department of Health and Human Services. The trailer will be available at public events and venues.

“Prevention is the most important element of public safety, and I applaud the City of Meriden for their dedication to ensuring that residents have the tools and training they need to not only protect themselves in the event of an emergency, but to prevent those emergencies from occurring in the first place. Every emergency than can be avoided by careful education, training and planning not only protects the lives and properties of residents, but the health and well-being of our brave first responders who put their lives on the line every day to protect others,” Blumenthal said.

“Today’s grant recognizes the city of Meriden’s commitment to educate the public about fire safety. The safety simulation trainer will help to prevent fires and teach people how to stay safe if fires do occur.  The interactive features and educational value in this tool will be incredibly helpful to people of all ages, and I’m glad the federal government is supporting Meriden’s new approach to fire safety and fire prevention,” Murphy said.

“By helping empower, train, and prepare local residents for a wide variety of emergencies, this grant will provide a significant contribution to the work of Meriden’s local officials and courageous first responders to save lives and keep people safe. I applaud the Department of Homeland Security for providing this grant and the City of Meriden for their continued commitment to improving public safety through critical emergency preparedness and prevention efforts,” Esty said.

"The City of Meriden is always grateful when it receives news of such valuable grant approvals. Fire Prevention and Public Safety is one of our primary concerns and is of utmost importance to our community. Having additional resources such as this $56,296 grant will provide our first responders with the educational tools that will keep them up to date in an ever changing environment,” said Meriden Mayor Michael S. Rohde.

"With the incorporation of this interactive safety trailer into our all of our current City of Meriden safety and health programs, we will be better able to provide our community with the best hands-on home safety training so that our citizens may better protect themselves from fires, storms, home accidents, and emergencies, thus reducing the injury and death rate. This grant, and the acquisition of the interactive safety trailer is truly a ‘shot in the arm’ to all of our public health and safety programs,” said David M Bowen, Deputy Fire Chief and Co-Director of Emergency Management for the City of Meriden.

The grant is the 23rd firefighting grant awarded in Connecticut in Fiscal Year 2013. Middletown received $1.14 million to hire eight additional firefighters and Waterbury received $2.9 million to hire new fire recruits through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters grant programs administered by FEMA. Milford, New Britain, New Milford, Brookfield, Stratford, Bristol, East Woodstock, Killingly, Plainfield, Willington, Seymour, Middletown, East Hartford, Shelton, Norwalk, Torrington, Southington and Waterbury also received grants to support operations and safety measures. Connecticut Public Television also recently received an award to produce a series of fire safety educational programs to air on their network during the upcoming holiday season.

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