For Immediate Release - March 14, 2016

Awards Presented to High School Students for YouTube ™ Burn Awareness Video Contest

BOSTON – Teams of Massachusetts high school students and their media teachers received awards today for their creative YouTube™ videos as part of the 8th annual statewide YouTube™ Burn Awareness Video Contest. State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey was joined by contest co-sponsors Ron Meehan from the Mass. Property Insurance Underwriting Association (MPIUA) and Capt. Rick Tustin, president of the Mass. Association of Safety and Fire Educators (MaSAFE). The ceremony was held today at the Shriners Hospital for Children® Boston.

State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “This contest continues to be a great way to engage young people to learn about the true consequences of fires and burns, without getting hurt. We thank the schools who chose to participate for helping us raise a fire safe generation.”

John O’Neill, administrator, Shriners Hospitals for Children® Boston, lauded the students for their work on creating burn awareness and prevention messages, stating “Burns are among the most devastating injuries a person can incur and education is the key to prevention. The YouTube™ video contest complements our mission at the Boston Shriners Hospital by getting the word out about ways to minimize burn injuries at home, school and in the community. We are honored to sponsor the awards ceremony each year and celebrate the creativity of our Massachusetts high school students.”

MA-RI FAIR Plan Grand Prize Sponsor
Ron Meehan, of the Mass. Property Insurance Underwriting Association, also known as the FAIR Plan, said, “Supporting this contest fits with our mission of reducing fires in the Commonwealth and the damage they do to life, property and communities.” The FAIR Plan presented the grand prize of a digital video camera to the winning team’s school.

Teens Talking to Teens
“As both a parent and a fire prevention officer, I have been appalled at how fire and burns have been portrayed in some YouTube™ videos. This contest allows young people to learn about the true life consequences of the misuse of fire by researching it on their own, and using their own language to effectively communicate to their peers,” 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.” MaSAFE presented gift certificates from Best Buy™ to the winning teams. 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.

Winning Videos
This is the eighth year of the contest and 21 teams from nine high schools in Ayer-Shirley, Fitchburg, Lynn, Millis, New Bedford, Roxbury, Sharon, Stoughton and Westford submitted entries. While all of the videos were creative and interesting, the first place winning team was from Millis High School for their Italian language video Fire Safety 1940 with English subtitles; the second place winners were from Ayer-Shirley High School for their stop-motion video Lego My Grill; and the third place winners were from Sharon High School for their Shakespeare-inspired video The Bard. The winning videos can be seen on the Department of Fire Services YouTube™ channel at

Honorable Mentions
Three teams from Lynn Classical High School, Millis High School and Nashoba Valley Regional 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 addresses learning standard components (Gr.9-10) SL.9-10.5, W.9-10.6, (Gr. 11-12) SL.11-12.5, and W.11-12.6 of the Massachusetts Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy. 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.

The judges included Chief Richard DeLorie, president of the Fire Chief’s Association of Massachusetts; Ron Meehan, representing the Mass. Property Insurance Underwriting Association; Lt. David Evans, West Newbury Fire Department and the 2015 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year; Lt. Steve Levoie, president of the Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts; Capt. Rick Tustin, president of MaSAFE; Jeanne McCue, public relations and marketing specialist for Shriners Hospital for Children® Boston, Capt. David DeMarco, assistant coordinator of the Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) Program, and Jennifer Mieth, public information officer for the Department of Fire Services.