Fire Prevention Month Was a Blazing Success

The Plantation Fire Department encouraged the entire city to celebrate Fire Prevention Month. Besides a multitude of activities and ceremonies such as selecting a “Business of the Year” and a “Member of the Year”, the most anticipated program was the 42nd Annual Marti Terziu Art and Literature Contest which had the largest number of winners in the history of the long-standing event.

Over 40 years ago, Marti Terziu developed the contest as a vehicle to bring the fire prevention message home through Plantation’s school-aged children in a creative, yet educational way. Sadly, Ms. Terziu passed away last year and the 41st annual contest was renamed in her honor and will continue to carry her name.

The contest was open to all elementary school-aged children in Plantation in which they were asked to produce their best interpretation of the National Fire Protection Agency’s (NFPA) annual fire prevention theme. This year’s theme was “Look, Listen, Learn. Be Aware. Fire Can Happen Anywhere.”

“Engaging the school children in our fire prevention messaging is critical,” explained Joel Gordon, Public Affairs Battalion Chief. “We have found that the children are very effective at bringing the fire safety message home to the parents and seeing that the concepts we put forward are carried out.”

This year’s competition featured City-wide winners in four separate categories including recognizing the “Best in Schools”.  The categories for submission were hand-drawn art, literature, digital art, and poetry.  Each category was further subdivided into K-3rd grade and 4th and 5th grade. Winning entries were displayed in front of the council chambers during the event and are also viewable on the City website at

Written submissions were judged by the Friends of the Helen B Hoffman Library, hand drawn submissions were judged by the Plantation Art Guild, and the digital submission were judged by experts in the field of video and computer graphics.

A total of twenty-four awards were handed out at the ceremony sponsored by Bristol West Insurance, a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance, along with goodie bags and pink fire helmets in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

All participants were invited to pose for pictures on the red carpet after the ceremony. Mirror Lake Elementary had the more than four hundred submissions which won the students an ice cream social with Sparky, The Plantation Fire Department’s mascot.