For Immediate Release - April 26, 2013

Fire, Burn and Insurance Professionals Announce Teen Winners of Statewide High School Burn Awareness Video Contest

High school teenagers and their media teachers received awards today for their creative YouTube™ videos as part of the 5th annual statewide YouTube™ Burn Awareness Video Contest. C. Thomas D’Esmond, administrator, Shriners Hospitals for Children® - Boston, hosted the awards ceremony and lauded the students for their work on creating burn awareness and prevention messages, stating “Education helps to prevent burns. The YouTube™ video contest complements our mission at the Boston Shriners Hospital by getting the message out about ways to minimize burn injuries at home, school and in the community. We are proud to sponsor the awards ceremony and celebrate the great work of our Massachusetts high school students.”

The contest is sponsored by the state Department of Fire Services, the Mass. Association of Safety and Fire Educators (MaSAFE), and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said, “YouTube™ is a powerful tool for communication around the globe as we have seen in recent years, but there are many negative, false and just plain scary messages about fire and burns on the Internet.” He added, “Our goal is to allow teenagers to research the truth for themselves without getting hurt.”

Teens Talking to Teens

“Through the power of the internet and YouTube™ anyone with a camera or smartphone can instantly be an actor, director and producer of their own movies. The influence some videos can have on our teens is cause for great concern. As both a parent and a fire prevention officer, I have been appalled at some of the videos on YouTube™. Yet as an educator I know that the best way for youth to learn about the true life consequences of the misuse of fire, is for them to research it on their own and to use their own language to effectively communicate to other teenagers,” said Capt. Rick Tustin, president of MaSAFE. “Our goal was to partner with high school media teachers and use burn and fire prevention as a vehicle to help them reach their own education goals while allowing the students to harness their creativity.”

Winning Videos

This is the fifth year of the contest and 33 teams from 12 high schools in Agawam, Harwich, Haverhill, Holyoke, Middleboro, Millis, Norwood, Sharon, Topsfield, Uxbridge, Westford, and Worcester submitted entries. While all of the videos were creative and interesting, the first place winning team was from Millis High School for their video The Extinguisher; the second place winners were from Norwood High School for their video Cooking Safety, and the third place winners were from Sharon High School for their Allstate Mayhem Ad Parody. The Department of Fire Services will post the winning videos on its YouTube™ channel at .

Honorable Mentions

Teams from Middleboro High School, Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford, and Sharon High School received honorable mention for their entries.

Burn Awareness Video Contest

The contest was open to grade 9-12 students enrolled in Massachusetts’ schools and submissions had to be from school-sponsored communications courses or sponsored extra-curricular groups. Communications teachers or faculty sponsors were required to review and approve all storyboards before filming started. Videos were required to be one to three minutes long, explore burn prevention topics, be well researched, not demonstrate risky or unsafe behavior, and to be both educational and informative. This contest addressed learning standard components 27.6 (Gr. 9-10) and 27.8 (Gr. 11-12) of the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework (June 2001), Media Strand - General Standard 27: Media Production. School districts offering communications classes, which include the design and creation of media productions, were encouraged to promote this contest through an independent or group assignment as part of its curriculum delivery.


Liberty Mutual Insurance Company provided the Grand Prize - a digital video camera for the school. MaSAFE provided gift cards from Best Buy™. The first place team shared $200 in gifts cards; the Second Place team shared $100 in gift cards, and the Third Place team shared $50 in gift cards.


The judges included April Briggs, of the National Fire Protection Association; Topsfield Fire Capt. Jenifer Collins-Brown, the 2012 Fire and Life Educator of the Year; Capt. Rick Tustin, president of MaSAFE; Christine Farrell-O’Reilly, Director, of the MA Department of Public Health’s Residential Fire Injury Prevention Program; David DeMarco, Assistant Coordinator of the Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) Program; Melissa Hurley Sullivan of MJH Communications; and Barry Ouellette, senior producer at DigiNovations, a full service video production company based in Concord (MA).

Shriners Hospitals Sponsors of National Burn Awareness Week

Shriners Hospitals for Children® promotes a burn prevention campaign throughout the year. This year’s focus is on teaching children to “Be Burn Aware,” especially at home. Homes are the sites of thousands of burn injuries to children every year, including scalds and fire-related injuries. Following and implementing some basic safety tips could have easily prevented many of these incidents.

The campaign features two child-friendly characters that showcase and share our messages: Boots and Brewster – a caped, cuddly bear and a googly-eyed teapot. In the materials, the pair leads children through the various rooms of a house, pointing out dangers, and how to easily correct or avoid them.

Firefighters, teachers, parents, caregivers and other members of the community are encouraged to participate in the year-long campaign by visiting for burn prevention and safety tips and information on how to order or download free materials, including activity books and posters. The 2013 materials are available in English, Spanish and French

Teens and Young Adults at Risk for Burn Injuries

“Many of the videos teenagers and young adults see and post on popular video websites such as YouTube™, demonstrate risky or otherwise unsafe behavior but never tell the rest of the story – the painful, enduring injuries that occur,” said Fire Marshal Coan. Teens are at risk for burns from scalding hot liquids and from fires, especially from flammable liquids like gasoline.

“This high school video contest builds upon the successful relationships that school and fire departments have built over the past 16 years of the Student Awareness of Fire Education or S.A.F.E. Program here in Massachusetts,” continued Coan. The S.A.F.E. Program provides grants to fire departments to make trained fire and life safety educators available to work with classroom teachers to deliver age-appropriate lessons.

Shriners Hospitals for Children – Boston

Shriners Hospitals for Children – Boston is a pediatric surgical hospital, research, and teaching center. The Boston hospital is operated by Shriners Hospitals for Children, an international health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to providing specialty pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay.

Mass. Association of Safety and Fire Educators (MaSAFE)

The Massachusetts Association of Fire and Safety Educators is a professional association of fire and life safety educators from all professions that provides professional development training for its members and promotes community education efforts.

Department of Fire Services

The Department of Fire Services is the sole agency within state government responsible for overall coordination of fire service policy and operations. Through the Division of Fire Safety, it manages the state burn registry, fire incident reporting and public education programs.