WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow today announced E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc., a fire safety educational organization in Kalamazoo, will receive $23,334 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program to purchase and install 10-year long-life battery sealed smoke alarms and provide fire safety education to West Michigan children and families.

“Providing communities with fire safety training and reliable smoke alarms will ensure that Michiganders are prepared in the event of a fire or other emergency,” said Senator Peters. “This funding will help E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. provide West Michigan children and adults with lifesaving fire safety skills and long lasting smoke detectors that can save their lives in an emergency.”

“Our firefighters in Kalamazoo put their lives on the line to protect our families and homes,” said Senator Stabenow. “Prevention is key and these resources will help save lives and the treasured possessions of so many families.”

“Emergencies can strike at any time and it is critical that Michigan families are prepared to respond to dangerous situations,” said Firefighter Michael McLeieer, President of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. “By receiving this federal Fire Prevention and Safety Grant award from FEMA, we will be able to provide our local firefighters and other fire safety advocates with the tools they need to Make Michigan S.A.F.E. Our goal is to make smoke alarms available at no cost, install them, and provide fire safety education to residents in order to keep them safe.”

E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. provides fire and life safety training to children and adults of all ages in West Michigan. Since their founding in 1995, E.S.C.A.P.E Inc. has educated over 1,000,000 children and adults. According to E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc., at least 50 people who participated in the training program have used those skills to save their family from danger in an emergency.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants program has positively affected public safety by providing nearly $7.3 billion since 2001 for infrared cameras, personal protective gear, hazmat detection devices, improved breathing apparatuses, and interoperable communications systems. This equipment is critical to ensuring the safety of firefighters as they respond to emergencies and protect our communities.

Eligible fire departments and Emergency Medical Services organizations in Michigan and across the country can apply for Assistance to Firefighters Grants. These competitive grants help first responders purchase the equipment and obtain the training needed to handle fire-related hazards. More information about the grant can be found at