Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fire Safety for Staff Working with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities


The FDNY and YAI Network will debut a new fire safety education DVD and CD-ROM workbook, Fire Safety for Staff Working with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, at YAI National Institute for People with Disabilities, 82-24 209th Street in Queens on Friday, October 14 at 12:30 p.m. as part of National Fire Prevention Week.

"People with developmental disabilities are especially vulnerable to fires," Commissioner Cassano said.  "We need to do everything we can to educate and empower this group, and those that care for them, so they can prevent and survive a fire.  This video and partnership will help save lives."

In March, 2009, a fatal fire in upstate Wells, NY killed 4 people with developmental disabilities.  Following this incident, YAI Network saw a need for more fire safety training for people with developmental disabilities and those that care for them, and approached FDNY about developing a fire safety education program specifically aimed at that group.  FDNY and YAI partnered to produce a twenty-five minute video that addresses fire safety using actual fires and real-life scenarios as an educational tool.  The video was filmed at the FDNY Fire Academy on Randalls Island and features FDNY Firefighters, YAI Network staff and people with developmental disabilities demonstrating several topics; including fire prevention, fire evacuation and fire risk awareness.

"Safety is our foremost priority," YAI C.E.O. Stephen Freeman said.  "We are honored to collaborate with FDNY in creating a state of the art video training program on fire safety for all staff working in the field of developmental disabilities"

The video is available online at  All proceeds from the purchase of this instructional video go directly to YAI Network and the FDNY Foundation, the non-profit arm of the FDNY.  The FDNY Foundation provides funding to the New York City Fire Department to educate and involve the public in protecting their own lives and property before and during emergencies.

YAI Network is a non-profit organization with over 400 programs and locations in New York and New Jersey.  YAI helps people of all ages, from infants to seniors, with their developmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and autism.

WHO: FDNY Chief of Training and Life Safety Thomas Galvin; YAI C.E.O., Stephen Freeman; YAI C.O.O., Thomas Dern; YAI Director of Education and Training, Perry Samowitz; Members of the FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit

WHERE:  YAI National Institute for People with Disabilities, 82-24 209th Street, Queens

WHEN:  Friday, October 14, 2011 - 12:30 p.m.

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