For Immediate Release - March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014 - 2013-14 YouTube™ High School Burn Awareness Video Contest Awards

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

BOSTON – Teams of high school teens and their media teachers received awards today for their creative YouTube™ videos as part of the 6th annual statewide YouTube™ Burn Awareness Video Contest. State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan was joined by contest co-sponsors Michael Sakraida and Benjamin Ward from Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Capt. Rick Tustin, president of the Mass. Association of Safety and Fire Educators (MaSAFE). The ceremony was held at Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston. Shriners is the national sponsor of National Burn Awareness Week which was February 2-8, 2014.

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said, “YouTube™ is nine years old and our contest is six. It continues to be a great way for young people to learn about the consequences of fires and burns without getting hurt and more importantly to teach others. There are too many internet videos that don’t show the true impact of these injuries.”

“Liberty Mutual is proud to support fire safety initiatives here in Massachusetts and across the country, “said Michael Sakraida, senior branch manager at Liberty Mutual Insurance. “We are proud to partner with the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services and MaSAFE to reward these students for their creativity and hard work to raise awareness for this important issue.”

Liberty Mutual presented the grand prize, a new digital video camera, for the winning team’s school.

C. Thomas D’Esmond, 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 and celebrate the creativity of our Massachusetts high school students.”

Teens Talking to Teens

“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.” 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 sixth year of the contest and 40 teams from 10 high schools in Chelmsford, Everett, Dudley, Hull, Melrose, Millis, Norwood, Sharon, Winchester and Wrentham submitted entries. While all of the videos were creative and interesting, the first place winning team was from Melrose High School for their Dickens’ A Christmas Carol parody Un-Educated You; the second place winners were from Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley for their video Do’s and Don’ts; and the third place winner was from Winchester High School for their video Keep Your Paws Off My Oven Mitts. The Department of Fire Services will post the winning videos on its You Tube ™ channel at

Honorable Mentions

Three teams from Melrose 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 April Briggs, of the National Fire Protection Association; Michael Sakraida and Benjamin Ward from Liberty Mutual; Brockton Fire Lt. Robert Hendrigran, the 2013 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; Milton Fire Chief John Grant, representing the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts; John Sugden, Senior Director of Public Relations at Shriners Hospital for Children- Boston; David DeMarco, Assistant Coordinator of the Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) Program, Jennifer Mieth, Department of Fire Services Public Information Officer, and Barry Ouellette, senior producer at DigiNovations, a full service video production company based in Concord (MA).