This page, Winners Announced in High School YouTube ™ Burn Awareness Video Contest, is offered by
Press Release

Press Release Winners Announced in High School YouTube ™ Burn Awareness Video Contest

12th annual YouTube™ High School Burn Awareness Video Contest
For immediate release:
  • Department of Fire Services

Media Contact for Winners Announced in High School YouTube ™ Burn Awareness Video Contest

Jennifer Mieth, Public Information Officer

Screen shot from winning video. Girl dressed as little red riding hood skipping through the woods.

STOWState Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced the winners of the 12th annual statewide YouTube(TM)Burn Awareness Video Contest. This award ceremony was one of the events cancelled in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus based on Governor Baker’s guidance to Executive Branch employees.

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said “I want to thank the contest co-sponsors the Mass. Property Insurance Underwriting Association (MPIUA) and the Mass. Association of Safety and Fire Educators (MaSAFE), the ceremony’s co-host Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Boston, and the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts and the Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts for their support for this contest.” Arrangements will be made to present the prizes and certificates to students in smaller events at their schools later in the year.

Winning Videos
This is the twelfth year of the contest and 16 teams from six high schools in Ayer-Shirley, Boston, Masconomet Regional, Melrose, Millis, and Nauset Regional submitted entries. While all of the videos were creative and interesting, the first-place winning team was from Nauset Regional High School for their video Little Red; the second-place winning team was from Masconomet Regional High School for their video Ghostly Fire; and the third place winners were from Melrose High School for their video One Morning. The winning videos can be seen on the Department of Fire Services’ YouTubeä channel at

Honorable Mentions
Teams from Boston Latin Academy and Melrose High School received honorable mentions for their entries.

State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “The goal of the contest is to counteract the inaccurate and dangerous information of so many Internet videos. This year the so-called ‘penny outlet challenge’ caused several fires in schools and homes potentially causing thousands of dollars in damage and disrupting learning. That viral video underscores how important this contest is to help teens explore what they really need to know about fires and burns using the media of today – video – without getting hurt or doing any damage.”

Mary Jo Pedulla, MScM, BSN, RN, NE-BC, director of patient care services at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston, praises 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 support this project each year and celebrate the creativity of our Massachusetts high school students.”

MA-RI FAIR Plan Grand Prize Sponsor
Gerard Medua
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. We have had too many examples of youngsters trying to imitate Internet stunts, which underscores the continued need for this contest as a way to show the truth about burns and fire. It allows teens to improve their media literacy and research skills while using their own language to effectively communicate to their peers,” said Winchester Fire Chief 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.

Needham Fire Chief Dennis Condon, president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts, said, “I am impressed with these amazing videos, what the students have learned and how they were able to communicate that in video. I really want to applaud the teachers who guided the students so they could learn about fires and burns the easy way.”

Cambridge Fire Lieutenant Chris Towski, president of the Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts said, “This contest helps us raise a fire-safe generation of young people and hopefully those around them – peers, parents and grandparents – will learn about burn safety and fire prevention as well.”

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.

Contest judges included: Gerard Medua, representing the Mass. Property Insurance Underwriting Association; Chief Rick Tustin, president of MaSAFE; Jeanne McCue, Marketing & Communications Specialist for Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston; Annie and Janie McCue from Amesbury High School; Jennifer Mieth and Julie Bergeron, Department of Fire Services; Chief Dennis Condon, President of the Mass. Fire Chiefs’ Association, Cambridge Fire Lt. Chris Towski, representing the Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts; and Barry Ouellette, writer, producer, director.


Media Contact for Winners Announced in High School YouTube ™ Burn Awareness Video Contest

Department of Fire Services 

The Department of Fire Services helps keep communities safe. We provide firefighter training, public education, fire prevention, code enforcement, licensing, fire investigation, hazardous material response, and emergency response.