State Fire Marshal’s office announces 2014 poster contest winners

10744664_4652258079886_1162061355_nCade Glission of Sevierville a winner

NASHVILLE (press release)—The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) is recognizing the statewide winners of the 2014 Fire Prevention Poster Contest and the 2014 Public Fire Educator of the Year. The winners will be honored at an awards event on Sat., Jan. 31, 2015 at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy in Bell Buckle, Tenn.

The poster contest is a longstanding annual event used by the SFMO to highlight and promote fire safety awareness throughout Tennessee schools. This year’s poster contest theme was “Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month” and it corresponded with the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week campaign. This year’s theme was especially pertinent as 70% of fatal fires in Tennessee last year occurred in homes with no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm.

“Programs like this are a fun and effective way to get students educated about fire safety,” said Commissioner of Commerce and Insurance and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak. “The safety lessons they learn from working on these projects are often spread to their parents and siblings.”

Starting in August, students from across the state in kindergarten through 12th grade began creating posters to illustrate the importance of working smoke alarms. Local fire departments sponsored the contest in schools from their districts and judged a winner from each grade. The local winners were then sent to the SFMO in Nashville for final judging. The SFMO received 280 poster entries this year from 103 different schools. The winners were selected by a panel of experts who generously volunteered their time: James Wells of the Tennessee Arts Commission; Gary Tisdale of Midtown Gallery; and Shaun Giles of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

The statewide winners are:

Special Needs Division I (K – 5th)

Zachary Sonnen

Dyersburg Intermediate School

Sponsor: Dyersburg Fire Department


Olivia Bynum

Malesus Elementary School

Sponsor: Jackson Fire Department

Special Needs Division II (6th – 12th)

Holly Tinsley

Bartlett High School

Sponsor: Bartlett Fire Department

1st Grade

Emily Williams

Pleasant View Elementary School

Sponsor: Pleasant View Vol. Fire Department

2nd Grade

Jordan Lewin

Crosswind Elementary School

Sponsor: Collierville Fire & Rescue

4th Grade

Cade Glisson

Catlettsburg Elementary School

Sponsor: Sevierville Fire Department

6th Grade

Cole Waycaster

Collierville Middle School

Sponsor: Collierville Fire & Rescue

8th Grade

Cody Hodge

Cascade Middle School

Sponsor: Bell Buckle Vol. Fire Department

10th Grade

Tate Hill

Arlington High School

Sponsor: Arlington Fire Department

12th Grade

Hayley Boggs

Boyd-Buchanan School

Sponsor: Chattanooga Fire Department

3rd Grade

Mason Booker

Allen Elementary School

Sponsor: Soddy Daisy Fire Department

5th Grade

Mason Clifton

The Discovery School

Sponsor: Dickson Fire Department

7th Grade

Jamey Ryan

Collierville Middle School

Sponsor: Collierville Fire & Rescue

9th Grade

Elizabeth Hoilmen

Boyd-Buchanan School

Sponsor: Chattanooga Fire Department

11th Grade

Brandon Yontz New

Directions Academy Sponsor: Charlotte Vol. Fire Department

Commissioner’s Choice Award Kaylee Simmons Greenfield Junior High School Sponsor: Greenfield Fire Department

The winners will each receive a $50 prize check and a certificate of achievement signed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. You can view the winning posters here:

In addition to the poster contest winners, we are also pleased to announce that the Germantown Fire Department Learning About Fire Safety (LAFS) Clown Troupe has been selected as the 2014 Public Fire Educator of the Year award recipients.

The LAFS troupe is comprised of Germantown firefighters who volunteer to assist with teaching fire safety to the community in a way that is both fun and informative. They design and produce new props and programs each year based on popular trends and characters. The clowns have completed “Educational Characterization through Clowning Academy” (aka Clown School) in Arizona to learn proper clown techniques, attire, and makeup. In addition to the clowns, team members also assist with set preparation and audio visual effects. By using entertainment, the LAFS troupe has been successful in educating audiences of all ages on key fire safety messages.

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