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IAFF 2010 Media Awards Contest


Two hundred and forty-five entries in the 2010 Media Awards Contest attest to the fact that for today’s fire fighter, truth is stranger than fiction. People and animals, buildings and systems fail and endanger others in unique and largely unpredictable ways. A seemingly infinite series of natural and manmade catastrophes cause fire fighters everywhere to give their all, all day and all night. In their off hours – as many entries demonstrate – these dedicated personnel work to preserve essential funding, as well as make a difference in their own communities throughout the United States and Canada.

This competition pays tribute to those who, in the public media and through their affiliates, document the great and the small in the life of fire fighters everywhere.



FIRST PLACE: “Pants on Fire”

Many fires and accidents preceded the August 2007 demolition of the 40-story Deutsche Bank building. This article calls the subsequent fire, which killed two fire fighters, an avoidable disaster caused by the lack of regular inspections prior to the demolition.

The Village Voice
Written by: Wayne Barrett
Submitted by: Uniformed Fire Officers Association of New York Local 854

SECOND PLACE: “From One Fire Fighter
to Another: A Gift of Life”

Fire fighter John Hall needed a kidney. His fellow fire fighter and best friend, Jim Sparks, gave him his “extra.” A year later, both are fully recovered.

Florida Times-Union
Written by: Jim Sparks
Submitted by: Jacksonville, FL Local 122

HONORABLE MENTION: “Fire Fighters’ Union Cites Hectic Year”

In Winnipeg, specially trained fire fighters respond to medical calls as primary-care paramedics. The number of these emergency calls grows by the year, leading to more conflict over the allocation of city resources.

Winnipeg Free Press
Written by: Gabrielle Giroday
Submitted by: Winnipeg, MB Local 867


Circulation Under 100,000

FIRST PLACE: “Three Men, One Cause”

After fire fighter Wes Malcolm’s wife, Tonya, died of breast cancer, the Tyler Fire Fighters Association secured a state resolution to don pink for three days in October. Other Texas departments now have similar programs designed to raise cancer awareness as well as raise funds to help their community.

The Pirate Press
Written by: Chase Wade
Submitted by: Tyler, TX Local 883

SECOND PLACE: “The Fire That Still Burns”

Exactly 10 years after the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse fire of 1999, which killed four fire fighters, eight survivors from the
Grove Street Station revisited the fateful night.

Worcester Magazine
Written by: Jim Keogh
Submitted by: Worcester, MA Local 1009

HONORABLE MENTION: “In Memory of My Hero, Jacob Rosa”

Engine 6 made nine-year-old Jacob Rosa an honorary fire fighter less than a month before he died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Jacob’s life ambition was to become a fire fighter. His friend of three years, fire fighter Pete Perez, made sure the boy also received a fire fighter’s funeral.

Camden Courier-Post
Written by: Lavinia DeCastro
Submitted by: Camden, NJ Local 788




FIRST PLACE: “Fire Fighters Still at All-Night Blaze”

A Winnipeg fire fighter climbs a ladder in a smoke-filled sky as crews battle a fire at a roofing company ablaze in a strip mall.

Winnipeg Free Press
Photo by: Maurice Bruneau
Submitted by: Winnipeg, MD Local 867

SECOND PLACE: “Mission Blaze”

After a homeless shelter catches fire, a Toronto fire captain checks the pulse of a resident, “Mike,” who is suffering from smoke inhalation.

Toronto Sun
Photo by: Jack Boland
Submitted by: Toronto, ON Local 3888


A fire at an apartment complex killed one woman and injured three other people. This cat fared better, once fire fighters gave it oxygen.

The Times-Union
Photo by: Steve Gerbert
Submitted by: Jacksonville, FL Local 122

HONORABLE MENTION: “Workers Help Free Motorist”

Working in a ravine, fire fighters remove the roof of an
SUV to evacuate the woman driving it.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Photo by: Timothy J. Stein
Submitted by: Caledonia, WI Local 2740

HONORABLE MENTION: “He’s a Hero, Doggone It”

Lt. Mike Wilcox gives oxygen to this bull mastiff puppy
after a house fire in a side-by-side duplex.

Winnipeg Free Press
Photo by: Mike Deal
Submitted by: Winnipeg, MD Local 867



FIRST PLACE: “Middleborough Church Fire”

Middleborough fire fighters struck four alarms and saved this 161-year-old church during a Memorial Day fire.

Photo by: Rob Reardon
Submitted by: Duxbury, MA Local 2167

SECOND PLACE (TIE): “Rescue at Rotary Park”

Local 1945 members set up a rope rescue system for a rock
climber who was injured after she fell about 20
feet while bouldering in a park in Fort Collins.

Photo by: Patrick Love
Submitted by: Poudre Fire Authority, CO Local 1945

HONORABLE MENTION: “Stretch of Destruction”

Jacksonville fire fighters work on an extrication from a sedan after an accident.

Photo by: Mark Treglio
Submitted by: Jacksonville, FL Local 122

SECOND PLACE (TIE): “Not Where We Wanted the Scuttle”

A fire fighter rakes through cellulose insulation during
overhaul through a new scuttle in a kitchen ceiling.

Photo by: David Ritter
Submitted by: Winona, MN Local 575


Eighty personnel spent more than 20 hours extinguishing a fire at a condo development under construction as well as protecting adjacent buildings.

Photo by: Robert Murphy
Submitted by: Surrey, BC Local 1271

HONORABLE MENTION: “Working the Line”

The Creve Coeur and Monarch fire fighters battled a two-alarm
townhouse fire in Chesterfield last October.

Photo by: Robert Reynolds
Submitted by: Central Jack, MO Local 3133


FIRST PLACE: “Fifteenth Fire”

These three news stories, based on a reporter’s ride-along, exposed exactly how the city’s rolling closures were affecting the response times of the Anchorage Fire Department.

Reported by: Megan Baldino
Submitted by: Anchorage, AK Local 1264

SECOND PLACE: “Hidden Risk”

A fire fighter died after falling into a basement when engineered-wood I-joists gave way in the new construction. The town of Shadeland then began to campaign for tightened state building codes. A simulation in this story illustrated the respective burning times of solid wood and engineered-wood I-joists.

Reported by: WISH-TV
Submitted by: Indianapolis, IN Local 416


A reporter and her cameraman go through Fire Ops in a story that is well shot and on message. She concludes that these annual Fire Ops days for politicians and the media ensure that fire resources “will be a hot topic at future budget meetings.”

Reported by: Liz Keptner
Submitted by: Easton, PA Local 713


FIRST PLACE: www.uflac.org

Want to see today’s shift calendar? Look no further than the homepage of Local 112’s web site. This homepage works hard for its visitors.

Produced by: Jim Perry and Mikel Bullis
Submitted by: Los Angeles City, CA Local 112

SECOND PLACE: www.cpf.org

Link to related CPF programs right from the homepage, which also features summaries of breaking news and quick links for members, the fire service and the public media.

Produced by: Lou Paulson
Submitted by: California Professional Firefighters

HONORABLE MENTION: www.iaff27.org

Vivid color and ample tabs make this site’s homepage an effective launching pad for getting to news and vital information as quickly as possible.

Produced by: Seattle Fire Fighters Union
Submitted by: Seattle, WA Local 27

HONORABLE MENTION: www.iafflocal738.org

This newsy site offers a public safety TV episode for public visitors and plays up the numerous causes that members participate in and promote.

Produced by: Doug Boczek
Submitted by: Mount Vernon, IL Local 738

HONORABLE MENTION: www.iaff2067.org

Union business, department news and international news head up the homepage of this site, along with quick links to the local’s own news and IAFF updates.

Produced by: Tim McDermott
Submitted by: Norman, OK Local 2067


FIRST PLACE: “Cosmopolitan on the Canal Fire”

In the freezing cold, some 130 fire fighters battled a downtown blaze that consumed three apartment buildings under construction. The ensuing arson investigation resulted in arrests

Reported by: WISH-TV
Submitted by: Indianapolis, IN Local 416

SECOND PLACE: “Caught in the Drain”

After a three-year-old girl gets her arm stuck in a vacuum pipe in a community pool, rescue crews race to free her while keeping her head above water. The girl went to the hospital with a piece of the cut pipe encasing her arm.

Reported by: Reed Cowan
Submitted by: Miami, FL Local 587


This dramatic footage shows a two-alarm fire in progress: the 37th known meth lab fire of the year in Tulsa. The fire started inside the Royal Arms apartment building. Only eight of the units in the building burned, including the one housing the lab, and there were only three serious injuries.

KOTV – The News on 6
Reported by: Latoya Silmon
Submitted by: Tulsa, OK Local 176

HONORABLE MENTION: “House Fire in Elyria”

This film captures the rescue efforts by citizens and then fire fighters during a house fire on a snowy December morning. The photojournalist later used the time code to document the time line, so the fire department would have the film for training. When the city council later saw the film, laid-off fire fighters were reinstated and the city received a grant to hire more fire fighters.

Reported by: David Arnold
Submitted by: Elyria, OH Local 474

HONORABLE MENTION: “Restaurant Explosion”

Incredible flashover and glass in every direction led to close calls for fire fighters when a sushi restaurant exploded after an early morning fire.

Global News
Reported by: Catherine McDonald
Submitted by: Toronto, ON Local 3888




FIRST PLACE: “Simply Your Best”

The local’s president encourages his colleagues to look “more closely at the ordinary” and rejuvenate their “pre-hired” spirit and enthusiasm for even the common tasks.

Written by: Stan Hills
Submitted by: Metro-Dade, FL Local 1403

FIRST PLACE: “Jackson fire fighters rally to
help one of their own”

When a Local 122 member’s home was damaged by fire, he didn’t have to look far for help. More than 25 of his fellow fire fighters showed up to reroof the house and do other work so the family could move back in before Christmas.

Reported by: Mark Treglio
Submitted by: Jacksonville, FL Local 122

ECOND PLACE: “Even as layoffs loom …”

Sometimes kids come first. The annual “Fill the Boot” campaign in Batavia for kids with muscular dystrophy was bound to go on, despite the fact some fire fighters and medics would be out of work in a few more weeks.

Reported by: Howard Owens
Submitted by: Batavia, NY Local 896


FIRST PLACE (TIE): “Firefighters on Your Side: Disaster Planning for the Elderly”

This public relations campaign stresses the importance of senior citizens planning for an evacuation. It explains how to prepare an evacuation kit—including medications and emergency contacts—in the event of an emergency.

Produced by: Lou Paulson
Submitted by: California Professional Firefighters

FIRST PLACE (TIE): “Truth and Realities of Protecting
New Yorkers”

The Uniformed Firefighters Association collaborated with Butler Associates to educate and inform New Yorkers and elected officials with respect to their protection and the facts about the pensions of fire fighters.

Produced by: Thomas Butler and James Slevin
Submitted by: Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York Local 94

SECOND PLACE (TIE): Answer the Call

This multimedia campaign sought to raise awareness of fire fighters’ charitable activities. The message: We are a community asset—not a drain on the taxpayer.

Produced by:  Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona
Submitted by: Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona

SECOND PLACE (TIE): “Tax Election Overview”

“This report of the November 2009 pension sales tax initiative captured the successful strategy to save defined benefit pensions.

Produced by:  Eric Latimer
Submitted by: Springfield, MO Local 152

Department Mismanagement
Pay Cuts for Injuries
Pay Cuts as Punishment

These three segments showcase a campaign to have the parish president address concerns about safety, lack of equipment, and the need to remove a particular fire director. Although the parish administration retaliated with its own campaign, public outrage led Local 1374 to prevail.

Produced by: Jefferson Parish, LA Local 1374
Submitted by: Jefferson Parish, LA Local 1374

HONORABLE MENTION: “Florida Salutes Fire Fighters Tag”

In the wake of September 11, the Florida Professional Fire Fighters began to promote the idea of a “Florida Salutes Fire Fighters” license tag. Local 122 jointly promoted the mayoral campaign of the Jacksonville tax collector, and portions of the tag sales would go back to the county tax collector’s office as well as certain Jacksonville fire fighter charities.

Produced by:  Mark Treglio
Submitted by: Jacksonville, FL Local 122




FIRST PLACE: “California Professional Firefighters”

More than 30,000 frontline fire fighters receive this quarterly, four-color tabloid. The third-quarter 2009 issue welcomes six new local unions to CPF.

Produced by: Lou Paulson
Submitted by: California Professional Firefighters

FIRST PLACE: “The Hamilton County Fire Fighter”

This bimonthly newsletter of Local 4416 relies on articles submitted by members and content created by its executive board.

Produced by: Anthony Murray and Travis Hawkins
Submitted by: Hamilton County, IN Local 4416

SECOND PLACE (TIE): “Backdraft”

Union business and the activities of its members are the focus of Backdraft. Published three times a year, it represents Local 1645 fire fighters
and Unified Fire Authority Local 1696.

Produced by: Salt Lake City, UT Local 1645
Submitted by: Salt Lake City, UT Local 1645

SECOND PLACE: “The Feederline”

In its final issue for 2009, The Feederline exercised its bragging rights, as Local 947 was named Local of the Year by the Professional Fire Fighters
and Paramedics of North Carolina.

Produced by: Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro
Submitted by: Greensboro, NC Local 947

SECOND PLACE (TIE): “Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona”

Numerous contributors from several locals fill this this quarterly magazine with news and views for 7,200 members.

Produced by: Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona
Submitted by: Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona


Local 27 sends this quarterly newsletter to its membership, retirees, local government and other supporters. It updates all these constituents on union decisions and negotiations, and it faithfully honors the fallen.

Produced by: Seattle Fire Fighters Union
Submitted by: Seattle, WA Local 27

HONORABLE MENTION: “The Houston Fire Fighter”

The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association publishes this monthly, which includes a Wellness Corner to help members stay fit and understand a variety of health topics.

Produced by: Michael Bingham
Submitted by: Houston, TX Local 341


The bimonthly newsletter of Indianapolis Professional Fire Fighters Local 416 features district reports, union news and finances, and plentiful advertising.

Produced by: Indianapolis, IN Local 416
Submitted by: Indianapolis, IN Local 416


FIRST PLACE: “2010 Local 27 Calendar”

Action photos abound in Local 27’s calendar, with clear denoting of union activities, holidays and the perennially popular paydays.

Produced by: Seattle Fire Fighters Union
Submitted by: Seattle, WA Local 27

SECOND PLACE: Hawaii’s Fire Service: Past and Present”

Photos are not the only noteworthy aspect of this calendar from the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association. The color of the date on each month’s calendar page—red, blue, green—proclaims the platoon shift. Smaller, perforated shift calendars at the back mimic those shift colors and fold to wallet size.

Produced by: Hawaiian Islands, HI Local 1463
Submitted by: Hawaiian Islands, HI Local 1463


FIRST PLACE: Fire Safety Is in Your Hands

Ranging in length from 15 to 45 seconds, these 14 public service announcements deliver fire safety messages to target audiences from 13 to 70. Fire Chief Laura Knapp said, “The coordination and planning between all agencies exceeded the normal operational requirement.”

Produced by: Grand Rapids Fire Department,
Calvin College and Fox 17
Submitted by: Grand Rapids, MI Local 366

SECOND PLACE (TIE): “California Professional Firefighters 2009 Annual Report”

In addition to celebrating CPF’s major events and accomplishments during 2009, this annual report identifies future challenges.

Produced by: Lou Paulson
Submitted by: California Professional Firefighters

HONORABLE MENTION: Johnnie Joins the Fire Department: The Film

A toe-tapping, high-action, sing-along puppet show makes this film an engaging way to deliver important messages about fire safety

Produced by: Chris Bradley and Traci Davenport
Submitted by: Chapel Hill, NC Local 2580

SECOND PLACE (TIE): “Alaska Joint Fire Conference Manual”

Spiral bound and studded with four-color, photographic tabs, this compact guide aptly details all conference sessions and
events at the Joint Fire Conference.

Produced by: Julie Rychetnik
Submitted by: Anchorage, AK Local 1264


As evidenced by this compact mailer, the EMS conference has something for everybody: fire chiefs, fire fighters, EMTs, paramedics
and other emergency medical providers.

Produced by: Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont
Submitted by: Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont


Social Networking

Fire Ops 101

FIRST PLACE: www.afdstatus.org

This web site and blog keep the community apprised of rolling closures and fire department operations. They also help the community understand the connection between budget cuts and the fire department’s ability to perform.

Produced by: Brian Partch
Submitted by: Anchorage, AK Local 1264

FIRST PLACE: Local 4361 Fire Ops 101

Fire Ops 101 is a proven way to capture the attention of decision-making civic officials. This iteration of Fire Ops 101 involved council members of the city of Surprise as well as fire district board officials from
El Mirage and Daisy Mountain.

Produced by: Northwest Valley Fire Fighters Association
Submitted by: Northwest Valley, AZ Local 4361

SECOND PLACE: “Save Our History”

Established social networking practices helped save Local 738’s historic open cab fire engine. Purchased new in 1939, the engine was scheduled to be sold as city surplus. Using Facebook and Twitter, linked to the local’s web site, Local 738 mounted a public campaign that cost it nothing, thanks
to the already strong online presence.

Produced by: Doug Boczek
Submitted by: Mount Vernon, IL Local 738


FIRST PLACE (TIE): “Fire Sale”

Local 344 fire fighters operate at the scene of a two-alarm fire at a hardware store.

Photo by: Jason Frattini
Submitted by: Detroit, MI Local 344

FIRST PLACE (TIE): “Five Alarms Needed”

For Bronx fire fighters, this was the second multiple-alarm fire in three days. Although there were no serious injuries, the fire consumed numerous stores

Photo by: Bill Tompkins
Submitted by: Englewood, NJ Local 3263

SECOND PLACE: “House Fire”

A fire fighter-paramedic takes a breather in front of a house fire.

Photo by: Alex Arredondo
Submitted by: Chino Hills, CA Local 3522

HONORABLE MENTION: “Historic Train Station Destroyed”

Water supply and pressure were low, leading to a third alarm as the century-old Hackensack train station burned to the ground.

Photo by: Bill Tompkins
Submitted by: Englewood, NJ Local 3263

HONORABLE MENTION: “Head-on Collision”

A head-on collision kept crews busy for hours extricating the drivers of the two vehicles involved.

Photo by: William O’Neill
Submitted by: Elgin, IL Local 439