BOSTON, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Liberty Mutual Insurance, one of the nation's leading home and auto insurers, is today celebrating America's firefighters by announcing the recipients of its National Firemark Award. Lieutenant Jake Miller and Captain Adam Ebersole of the Lampeter (Pa.) Fire Company are this year's honorees of the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award for Heroism, and Captain Scott Waldvogel of the San Bruno (Calif.) Fire Department has earned the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award for Community Service and Public Education. Miller, Ebersole and Waldvogel have all gone above and beyond their responsibilities to demonstrate their bravery and commitment to fire education.
To reward these everyday heroes, Liberty Mutual will award the Lampeter and San Bruno Fire Departments each with a $10,000 grant. Lampeter will use the funds for upgrading equipment while San Bruno will further invest in its community emergency response educational program.
A committee comprised of numerous fire safety organizations annually selects the Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award winners from among a pool of more than 150 firefighter nominees, each of whom had received a local Firemark Award from a Liberty Mutual Insurance office in their community throughout 2013. The selection committee includes representatives from such fire safety groups as the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Volunteer Fire Council, the National Fire Protection Association, the National Association of State Fire Marshals, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
"We are excited to present this year's Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award to Jake Miller, Adam Ebersole and Scott Waldvogel," said Anthony Storm, senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer, Liberty Mutual Personal Insurance. "These men demonstrate selfless commitments to keeping the public safe and educating people about the importance of fire safety, and we are pleased to honor these heroes for serving their communities at the highest level."
Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Heroism
Lieutenant Jake Miller and Captain Adam Ebersole, Lampeter Fire Company
On January 26, 2013, volunteer Firefighters Miller and Ebersole were assisting at the scene of a car accident when they learned about a burning house nearby. They rushed to the home and without hesitation entered the burning structure. After making entry, both firefighters immediately dropped to the ground to avoid the thick black smoke. As they crawled along the floor, their vision was seriously impaired—but their hearing was still intact.
Continuing to push forward, the firefighters began to hear moaning. They followed the sound to a room where they saw a young adult male amidst the flames and smoke. As they carried the man toward a window, they also spotted his unconscious girlfriend.
After struggling to clear the window, Ebersole was forced to exit the house due to extreme exhaustion and the intense heat. Miller then lowered the man out of the window and into the arms of another firefighter. He then turned his attention to the girlfriend, whom he also lowered out the window to safety. The victims were rushed to a nearby burn center, where they were treated for their severe burns; after numerous surgeries, they were both released from the hospital.
The Lampeter Fire Company will allocate the funds from the Firemark Award toward refurbishing their fire engine with updated equipment including new warning lights and a new water tank.
"Jake and I are both humbled that our peers thought we were so deserving of the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award," said Ebersole. "We never thought about not going in. As Harry S. Truman once said, 'It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.'"
Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Community Service
Captain Scott Waldvogel of San Bruno Fire Department
A lifelong resident of San Bruno, Waldvogel makes his community feel safe with his ongoing involvement in safety-related activities. After a 2010 gas explosion devastated the area, the San Bruno fire chief along with the city manager were looking to start a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course so the community could feel empowered, rather than powerless, in cases of emergencies. Not one to sit on the sidelines, Waldvogel jumped at the opportunity, completed the CERT course and became a certified instructor.
Since then, Waldvogel has held two, 6-week courses per year for citizens to attend these classes. He's also always trying to improve the class as well by making it more relevant and interesting to the attendees. For example, he borrows equipment such as gas meters, dummies, breathing equipment, fire extinguishers, and fire pans that he can safely light up so students can actually feel what it is like to use an extinguisher.
As a single father, Waldvogel is truly part of the city's fabric. Even while off-duty, he reaches out to the community every opportunity he gets. He coordinates the firefighter chili cook-off to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, volunteers as a youth baseball coach and participates in a host of other activities.
Waldvogel noted the funds from the Firemark Award will go to strengthen the CERT program through new equipment, increased training and hopes the honor will increase overall awareness. "I'm honored to be recognized for just trying to do the right thing– preparing and educating the residents of this city for a potential disaster. I look forward to building this program to help further prepare our community for the future."
About the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award
The Liberty Mutual Firemark Award is presented annually to U.S. firefighters who best represent their communities through courageous valor and who best demonstrate the firefighter's selfless spirit. The award takes its name from the firemark, a leaden plate in the form of a Phoenix rising from the ashes, which American fire offices in the 18th and 19th centuries used to mark all the houses they insured. The firemark stood as a guarantee to all fire brigades that the insurance company that insured the house in question would reward them for extinguishing a fire on the premises.
The stories of firefighters Ebersole, Miller and Waldvogel, as well as other Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award nominees, are celebrated in video vignettes on the Liberty Mutual YouTube channel and on www.BeFireSmart.com The website is also the destination for fire departments and the public to nominate firefighters in their community for a Liberty Mutual Firemark Award to reward outstanding feats of heroism or community service and public fire education.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
"Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2013 direct premiums written as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual Insurance also ranks 81st on the Fortune 100 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2012 revenue. The company employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The sixth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 14,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
Liberty Mutual Insurance
SOURCE Liberty Mutual Insurance