For Immediate Release - March 16, 2017

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 9th 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, “In January, a Concord NH third grader was severely burned trying to imitate a stunt he saw on YouTube™. This underscores the continued need for this contest as a way to teach young people about fire safety and media literacy.”

Kevin Keating, interim 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
“The goal of the contest is to counteract the inaccurate and dangerous information of so many YouTube videos by allowing teens to explore what they really need to know about fires and burns using the media of today – video – without getting hurt.” said Capt. Rick Tustin, president of MaSAFE. 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 ninth year of the contest and 28 teams from eight high schools in Ayer-Shirley, Braintree, Masconomet Regional, Melrose, Maynard, Methuen, Millis, 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 original score video The Extinguisher Superhero; the second place winners were from Masconomet Regional High School for their visual story video The Chirp; and the third place winners were from Millis High School for their rhythmic video The Fire Safety Squad Rap. The winning videos can be seen on the Department of Fire Services YouTube™ channel at

Honorable Mentions
Three teams from Melrose and Millis High Schools 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 David A. Mottor, vice-president of the Fire Chief’s Association of Massachusetts; Ron Meehan, representing the Mass. Property Insurance Underwriting Association; Lt. Steve Lavoie, 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, April Hart, of the National Fire Protection Association; Barry Ouellette, a videographer with Ouellette Productions; 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.