Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Fire Commissioner Joseph A. Conant and Fire Marshal David Rivera officially introduced the Fire Department’s new fire prevention tool, “Sparky the Fire Dog,” at Springfield Fire Headquarters today at 10:45 a.m. Alison Mathias and Ray Muise were both present for the demonstration to represent the MassMutual Financial Group, whose donation made the purchase of Sparky possible.
Mayor Sarno said, “For 165 years, we’ve been able to count on MassMutual being an outstanding corporate citizen – thank you. This initiative is so important in fire prevention and educational efforts, especially toward our children. Sometimes, our children will teach their parents the do’s and don’ts of fire prevention aspects.”
MassMutual generously donated a grant of $10,727.00 to fund the purchase of Sparky. The Fire Department contributed the remaining $1,215.50, bringing the total cost of the robot to $11,942.50. The new Sparky is a more recent and modern replacement of the Department’s previous older model.
“I greatly appreciate MassMutual once again stepping up to assist the Springfield Fire Department in our goal of providing the best possible service to the residents of Springfield. MassMutual has always been a great corporate partner of the fire department with their many generous donations over the years. Sparky the Fire Dog will help our Public Education division provide lifesaving training to our youth in a fun and exciting manner,” said Commissioner Conant.
“We are grateful for the great work and services that the Springfield fire department provides to this community where our employees live and work,” said Ali Mathias, MassMutual’s Director of Charitable Giving and Vice President of the MassMutual Foundation. “MassMutual is very engaged in this community and we are passionate about education, and this commitment extends to helping our youngest members thrive as healthy, informed members of the community and of their households. We are hopeful that Sparky aids the fire department’s mission of fire and safety awareness and in protecting the people in this community.”
“Sparky the Fire Dog” is a well-known figure in fire prevention education. The automated, interactive robot will be used by fire prevention educators to teach children about fire safety and prevention. Educators will be able to control from afar Sparky’s movements and interactions with children at their level by carrying conversations, playing music, even winking and blinking.
For further information please contact Dennis Leger, Executive Aide to Commissioner Conant, at (413) 787-6405.