Fire Prevention Month Essay

41st Annual Marti Terziu Art & Literature Contest

As part of their Fire Prevention month activities the Plantation Fire Department honored the winners of their 41st Annual Marti Terziu, Fire Prevention Art & Literature Contest, with a Red Carpet Awards night on Wednesday, October 25th, 7:30 PM, at the Plantation City Council meeting.

The Marti Terziu Art & Literature Contest, formerly known as the Poster and Essay contest was developed in 1976 by Marti Terziu as way to bring the fire prevention message home through Plantation’s school-aged children.

With the loss of Ms. Terziu, this year, the contest was renamed in her honor. Along with the rename, Bristol West Insurance, a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance became the first corporate sponsor which allowed the Department’s Public Affairs Division to expand the program including a category for electronic art.

This year’s fire prevention theme Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out,” reminds everyone to have and practice an emergency escape plan which includes two ways out of every room.

“Fire safety is truly a team effort,” said Fire Chief Laney Stearns. “The impact children have on their parents and families when bringing home the fire safety message is our strongest tool. Education is one of our most powerful weapons against fire and Fire Prevention Week is the perfect tie-in for our annual competition. The sponsorship from Bristol West Insurance really makes this a public-private partnership for the betterment of the community.”

Friends of the Helen B. Hoffman Library and the Plantation Art Guild judged the final submissions.  “City-Wide” and “Best in School” winners were named in three categories: Hand Drawn Art, Literature, and Digital Art.

2017 Citywide Winners

Second Place – Hand Drawn Art

  • K – 3:  Jayla Delcueto, Mirror Lake
  • 4 – 5:  Angelina Dolan, Tropical Elementary

Second Place – Literature

  • 4 – 5:  Angeline Austin, Central Pk Elem

Third Place – Hand Drawn Art

  • K – 3:   Leilani Lane, Plantation Pk
  • 4 – 5:  Emily Pardillo, Plantation Pk

Third Place – Literature

  • 4 – 5:  Sara McGillivray, Our Savior Lutheran

First Place – Digital Art

  • K – 3:  Eduardo Barackman, Central Park Elementary

Member of the Year – Captain Steven Merritt

Steve Merritt joined the Plantation Fire Department in May of 2002, following in the footsteps of his wife Lici, who became a volunteer firefighter with Plantation then was hired in Coral Springs as a Fire inspector.

For ten years Steve juggled life between the fire department, his family, and running the family business, Rena’s Flowers of Merritt. In 2012, upon his promotion to Captain Steve sold the business to become a full time fire inspector with Plantation.As well as his promotion to Captain at Station four, Steve’s career with the Department included three terms as president of the Volunteer Fire Association, acquisition of his State Instructor, Fire Inspector, Fire Officer One, and Live Fire Instructor certificates, and representing the Fire Department members on the City’s pension board.  

Steve graduated from St. Thomas High School in 1988 and has a degree in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University in 1993.Steve credits his success to the support of his wife Lici, daughters Alicia and Isabel, and his mother and father Gloria and Ralph Merritt who also have a tremendous track record of serving Plantation.

Steve was honored during the Chamber of Commerce Breakfast on Wednesday, October 3 at the Jacaranda Country Club and again on October 27 at the City Council meeting.

Business of the Year – A Touch of Class Towing

As a continued part of the Fire Prevention Week activities, the Fire Department selects a Business of the Year. The Business of the Year is an organization that does business in Plantation and has partnered with the Fire Department in helping serve the citizens of Plantation.

Motor vehicle extrication, removing someone safely from a wrecked car, is a highly technical skill that requires a tremendous amount of training and practice. Changes in the economy have made junk yard dealers hesitant to donate old cars making it more difficult for firefighters to conduct realistic training.

Michael Madrymootoo, who owns and operates A Touch of Class Towing, has been there for the past several years fulfilling the Fire Department’s training needs by supplying vehicles for extrication training.

Michael, who is also a firefighter at Station One, fully understands the kind of commitment needed to properly train in extrication techniques.

Without hesitation, he has been their “go to guy” for vehicle training needs. Not only does he secure vehicles but once training is complete, he recovers them, all at no charge to the Department.

Madrymootoo also supplies the vehicles used during the live extrication demonstration at their annual barbecue.

Michael was honored during the Chamber of Commerce Breakfast on Wednesday, October 3 at the Jacaranda Country Club and again on October 27 at the City Council meeting.


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