Borough fire department calls on community to help secure grant


NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Fire Department has its eye on a $10,000 grant and it needs the whole town to help nab it.

Liberty Mutual Insurance is offering 10 grants to fire departments across the country that can get the most people to take an online fire safety quiz.

The quiz consists of 10 simple questions designed for both children and adults and winning the grant is not predicated on answering correctly.

The quiz is intended to get people thinking about fire safety and to help parents discuss fire safety plans with their children. It’s interactive and has links to more information about fire safety, according to Marc Arrage, Branch Manager for the Middlebury Liberty Mutual.

“It’s a way to educate the kids while earning some grant money,” Arrage said.

The quiz opened Sept. 1 and closes Oct. 31, overlapping fire prevention week Oct. 4 through Oct. 11.

Deputy Chief Ellen Murray, Deputy Mayor Tamath Rossi, and a team from the Naugatuck Fire Department met last week to plan their strategy.

“It does take an effort. … It’s a community event,” said Deborah Brown, sales representative from the Middlebury branch of Liberty Mutual.

People can track their town’s standing on the website. Murray and her team discussed getting the word out during an open house at the firehouse, parent-teacher night, and other community events.

This is the fourth year Liberty Mutual has offered the grants, but the first year Naugatuck is participating.

“It sounds like a phenomenal program,” Murray said.

Arrage said the campaign dovetails with the company’s tagline, “Responsibility, what’s your policy.”

“This is just another thing we did to promote responsibility,” he said.

If Naugatuck wins the grant, a good portion of the earnings will be rolled back into fire prevention and education, Murray said. She said the fire department’s budget for education was cut again this year, to $500. That’s mere pennies for each child in Naugatuck, Murray said.

“I have faith in this community to come together and help us with this much-needed grant,” Murray said.

The grants are awarded to towns based on size and percentage of people who took the quiz. Naugatuck, like most towns, is in the medium division for towns with 10,000 to 100,000 residents. There are six grants available for this division.

“I’m so excited for this,” Murray said. “I think this is going to be a great little diversion after the hurricane.”

Anyone can take the quiz on Naugatuck’s behalf, even if they don’t live in town. Entries are limited to one per e-mail address.

Anyone interested in taking the quiz can do so online at