The Syosset Fire Department has multiple stations, including this one...

The Syosset Fire Department has multiple stations, including this one on South Cold Spring Road. (July 26, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Two fire districts, one in Nassau County and one in Suffolk County, have each been awarded more than $25,000 in federal grants to be used to promote fire prevention and safety, officials said.

The Halesite Fire District will use its $25,384 grant to host a smoke-detector giveaway targeting vulnerable homes where young children and the elderly reside, Tom Devaney, director of operations with JSK Public Safety, a company in Williston Park that writes grant applications, said this week.

Studies have shown that these populations have the most difficulty evacuating during a fire, Devaney said.

"They need help to make sure they get out of the house," he said.

The Syosset Fire District will use its $25,175 grant to purchase a trailer that will be used to educate schoolchildren and the larger community on fire safety.

"We go to several schools, and temples and churches," said Richard Magliaro, Syosset fire prevention officer. The information "gets out to most of the children, and they get to bring it home to their parents."

While officials are unsure of the trailer's cost, Magliaro said the grant will likely cover less than half of it.

The Fire Prevention and Safety Grants come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. These awards are rare on Long Island, with only about six distributed here since the program began more than 10 years ago, Devaney said.

"The FPS is the smallest of the three AFGP grants," Devaney said. "The grants are divided equally between research, code enforcement and fire prevention, making them the most competitive in the nation."

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