BOSTON, May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Honoring America's firefighters for their bravery and commitment to the communities in which they serve, Liberty Mutual Insurance today announced recipients of its 2015 National Firemark Award. Firefighter Shane Harmon of the Fort Worth (Texas) Fire Department in Texas is being honored with the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award for Heroism, and Fire Chief John Thomas of the Hammond City (Louisiana) Fire Department has earned the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award for Community Service and Public Education.
To recognize and reward these exceptional firefighters, Liberty Mutual Insurance will present grants of $10,000 each to the Fort Worth and Hammond City Fire Departments. The Fort Worth Fire Department plans to use the grant money to fund community events and outreach, while the Hammond City Fire Department intends to combat firefighter cancer by purchasing cleaning equipment that removes carcinogens from gear materials.
Seven finalists were selected from hundreds of submissions, and for the first time ever, the winners of the National Firemark Award were brought to a public vote on Facebook. From April 1-20, America was invited to learn more about all seven finalists on Liberty Mutual's Facebook page and vote for who they thought was most deserving of the national award through compelling video vignettes. You can view the Shane Harmon and John Thomas nomination videos on Liberty Mutual's Facebook Page. All finalists were selected by a committee comprised of fire safety organizations, including the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Volunteer Fire Council, the National Fire Protection Association and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.
"It is an honor to recognize Shane Harmon and John Thomas who have both made such vital contributions to their communities," said Anthony Storm, executive vice president and Chief Marketing Officer, U.S. Consumer Markets, at Liberty Mutual Insurance. "For putting the safety of citizens and the education of others above themselves, we thank them with the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award and also thank the public for their support of all of these deserving nominees."
Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Heroism
Firefighter Shane Harmon of the Fort Worth Fire Department
Firefighter Shane Harmon has been with the Fort Worth Fire Department for 10 years. On August 6, 2015, Harmon was heading to his second job in Fort Worth when he witnessed a wrong-way driver collide head-on with the car directly in front of him. Harmon's car then became involved in the pile-up. Without tools or protective gear, Harmon proceeded to check on the other drivers involved in the crash. Noticing one victim's extensive injuries, Harmon focused on the heavily entrapped driver involved in the crash. Not long after, the victim's engine compartment became engulfed in flames and Harmon turned his attention to battling the blaze. EMS later arrived and Harmon helped successfully remove the victim from the car. Harmon later realized he had sustained second degree burns and a serious shoulder injury that would require multiple surgeries. The victim in the crash, who is still recovering, remembers pleading with Harmon to save him from the fire and is forever grateful.
"It's a tough feeling, knowing what you need to do and not having access to the right tools to make it happen, but I'm glad I was able to make a difference," said Harmon. "I'm honored to have been part of the Firemark journey, and I'm humbled by the win and the level of community support from Fort Worth to Facebook."
Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Community Service and Public Education
Fire Chief John Thomas of the Hammond City Fire Department
Fire Chief John Thomas has worked for the Hammond City Fire Department since 1985. As the Hazmat coordinator for 20 years, Thomas has worked with smaller neighboring communities to train them in disaster response. After Hurricane Katrina left more than 400,000 helpless, he worked to help create a CERT team consisting of 180 volunteers, local firefighters in incident Command, developing an emergency plan and a parish-wide radio system of over 1100 radios in service for emergency responders. Thanks in part to Thomas's efforts, Hammond has been named number 18 of the 26 safest communities in the United States by the National Safety Council.
"I'm grateful to have served my community for the past three decades, and I hope this award inspires other departments and cities to be on top of their game for emergency response," said Thomas. "On behalf of the Hammond City Fire Department, we are thankful for the grant which will help make our firehouse a healthier place for our firefighters."
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 Shane Harmon and John Thomas, as well as past Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award nominees, are celebrated in video vignettes on the Liberty Mutual YouTube channel and on www.libertymutual.com/firemarkaward. The website is also the destination for fire departments and the public to nominate firefighters in their community for a future Liberty Mutual Firemark Award. In addition, nominations can be made by contacting a sales representative within your local Liberty Mutual sales office.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
Liberty Mutual Insurance helps people preserve and protect what they earn, build, own and cherish. Keeping this promise means we are there when our policyholders throughout the world need us most.
In business since 1912, and headquartered in Boston, Mass., today Liberty Mutual is a diversified insurer with operations in 30 countries and economies around the world. The company is the fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2015 direct written premium data as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual is ranked 78th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2014 revenue. The company employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The fifth-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
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SOURCE Liberty Mutual Insurance