February 18, 2011 – There is no question that Sparky the Fire Dog® is currently the most popular spokesdog after more than 25 firefighting professionals submitted video to be the next “Voice of Sparky” in honor of his 60th birthday. Today, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced the three finalists who will move on to the next round, Barry Brickey of Kingsport, Tenn., Steve McAdoo of Clackamas, Ore., and Alex Mickschl of Spokane, Wash., in which the public will choose the winner.
“We were extremely impressed by how many creative, thoughtful and talented entries we received, and it was very difficult to choose just three,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “All the entries were fantastic but Barry, Steve and Alex really epitomized how we feel the voice of Sparky should be represented. Overall, we were excited to see the passion that so many firefighters displayed for educating their community, and the many ways that the Sparky mascot helps them get their message across.”
The NFPA launched the “Voice of Sparky” contest to kick off Sparky’s 60th birthday celebration, which officially falls on March 18. Career and volunteer firefighters were invited to submit videos of themselves giving their best Sparky impersonation from February 1 through February 16, and now the public will be able to choose the winner by voting for their favorite video submission on Sparky’s new Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SparkyTheFireDog, between February 21 and February 28.
The firefighter selected as the winner will receive an authentic Sparky the Fire Dog costume, an all-expenses-paid trip to the Boston, Mass. area to record for the NFPA Fire Prevention Week video, and Fire Prevention Week public education materials to continue spreading the word about how to prevent fires in the home.
Since Sparky’s inception in 1951, the number of fires and fire injuries in the United States has declined, which is due in part to enhanced public education efforts. Today, approximately 3,000 people die each year because of fires and thousands are injured. Sparky’s work continues and is more important than ever because most fires can be prevented when people take personal responsibility and follow a few safety guidelines.
As part of Sparky’s year-long birthday celebration, NFPA is also working with Scholastic to expand curriculum to pre-school students in the fall and developing programs for high school volunteers to implement, thus reaching more elementary school children who may not have already been introduced to Sparky.
For additional information on the “Voice of Sparky” contest and other Sparky birthday celebrations throughout the year, please visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org/SparkysBirthday.
About Sparky the Fire Dog®
Sparky the Fire Dog was created for the National Fire Protection Association in 1951 and has been the organization’s official mascot and spokesdog ever since. He is a widely recognized fire safety icon that is beloved by children and adults alike. Millions have learned about fire safety through educational lessons and materials featuring his image and he is more active than ever today. Sparky frequently visits schools and participates in community events to spread fire safety messages, often accompanied by his firefighter friends. In addition to connecting with the public through public service announcements and his featured role in Fire Prevention Week campaigns each October, he has a very active website, www.sparky.org and a Facebook page that was launched in 2011 as part of his 60th anniversary celebration.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org
Subscribe to NFPA RSS News feeds
Contact: Lorraine Carli, NFPA Public Affairs Office, +1 617 984-7275
Contact: Katy Layton, CooperKatz on behalf of NFPA, +1 917 595-3057