Help the La Plata VFD win $25,000

  • Charles County
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La Plata, MD -- You can help the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department win $25,000. All you have to do is vote for their video in the Close Before You Doze contest.

The video features Fire Safety Superhero, Flash Max, whose secret identity is La Plata Volunteer Firefighter Mike Furman. (Shh... don't tell anyone)

But this fun video has a serious safety message, "close your doors!" Ten years of research has shown that closed doors can limit the rate at which fires can spread by depriving them of oxygen. Keeping the door shut also reduces the spread of toxic smoke.

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) created the 'Close Before You Doze' campaign to help save lives.

The video contest is taking place nationwide and has 21 entries. Voting is taking place until September 15th.

The eight videos with the most votes move on to the next round where a panel of UL FSRI representatives will rank the finalists who will receive a donation in their name to a fire department of their choosing.

The grand prize donation is $25,000, the runner-up and second runner-up will receive $15,000 and $10,000 respectively, and five additional departments will get a $5,000 donation and honorable mention.

La Plata VFD's entry was created by Flash Max and fellow La Plata VFD firefighters. The cast includes:

  • Little Girl--Jocelyn Furman (Southern Maryland Little Miss Fire Prevention Queen)
  • Mom--Heidi Furman
  • Little Boy--Mason Furman
  • Flash Max--Mike Furman
  • Firefighters--La Plata Volunteers

To vote for the Flash Max video, click here.

You can learn more about Flash Max by visiting his website:

Beth Gilroy from the La Plata VFD said their fire prevention program is a point of pride. "We take pride and value the importance of a vibrant fire prevention program as a way to educate the public about various life safety issues (our program is not limited to just fire safety). Our best method of fire prevention is education, from our youngest citizen to our oldest and everyone in between. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 3,645 home fire deaths in 2017. Our #1 goal is always to reduce that statistic!"

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