Norton firefighter Kelsey Bisio

Norton firefighter Kelsey Bisio was a finalist for the 2022 Fire & Life Safety Education of the Year Award. Pictured from left are state Fire Marshal Peter Ostrosky, Norton Deputy Fire Chief Jason Robbins, Bisio and Norton Fire Chief Shawn Simmons.

NORTON — A local firefighter was a finalist for this year’s Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year award during the recent annual state Fire & Life Safety Education Conference.

Firefighter Kelsey Bisio, a member of the department for over four years, has been the safety coordinator for about a year overseeing the SAFE and senior SAFE program, Fire Chief Shawn Simmons said.

In that role, Bisio instituted a rewards program with local teachers that includes having lunch with a firefighter, riding to school in a fire truck and recess time with firefighters.

SAFE stands for Student Awareness of Fire Education.

Bisio is currently assisting middle school special education teacher Jen Sullivan with developing a new fire safety curriculum for special education students, Simmons said.

Bisio also works with the local Council on Aging to deliver 5-gallon buckets of sand to elderly residents for their walkways during the winter.

Under her supervision, Simmons said, local firefighters have teamed up with schools to develop a program where students will shovel elderly neighbors’ walkways and tweet pictures of their work.

Bisio, a firefighter for over three years before joining the Norton department, was one of 12 finalists in the state for the award.

After being assigned to the SAFE program, she embraced her new role and has had an immediate, positive impact in the community, Simmons said.

“She has brought our program to the next level with her innovative ideas that have gotten those who may have not had much interaction with our department before interacting with us on a regular basis now,” Simmons said.

The conference featured 40 hours of workshops that covered topics from safety for older adults to identifying potential active shooter threats in addition to listening to various speakers.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.