The Benton Township Fire Department is raising funds to launch a public education program.
Chief Robert Harper tells us they’re working with a firm called United States Fire Safety Services to get materials to help spread the message of fire prevention among kids and seniors. He says such efforts used to be baked into the department’s budget, but costs have gone up.
“The budget is tight and things have to give,” Harper said. “I’m finding it hard to find the money for public education, and with this program that we’re doing now, it’s raising funds so we can continue that. We’re not only just getting out to the public schools and the charter schools, we visited a couple of homeschools. We also want to expand it into senior housing.”
Harper says they want to reach all residents.
“We have a growing Hispanic population in the community. So, you know, we’d like to get materials in English and Spanish.”
The fire department has sent letters to businesses throughout the township to ask for donations. $75 could provide materials for 25 children, and the materials being bought from United States Fire Safety Services include coloring books, stickers, and helmets.
Harper says this is the first time the department has done something like this.
Anyone who wants to help can contact the Benton Township Fire Department or send a check.