42nd Annual Marti Terziu Art & Literature Contest
As part of their Fire Prevention month activities the Plantation Fire Department honored the winners of their 42nd Annual Marti Terziu, Fire Prevention Art & Literature Contest, with a Red Carpet Awards night on Wednesday, October 24th, 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.
Bristol West Insurance, a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance returned as our tw0-time corporate sponsor which allowed the Department’s Public Affairs Division to expand the program including adding categories for electronic art and poetry.
This year’s fire prevention theme “Look, listen, learn. Be aware, fire can happen anywhere,” reminds everyone to be award of the risk of fire and how to prevent them.
“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, the Plantation Art Guild, and a team of video and computer graphics experts judged the final submissions. “City-Wide” and “Best in School” winners were named in three categories: Hand Drawn Art, Literature, and Digital Art. A special poetry award was given out as well.
Click here for contest rules 2018 Student Guidelines
Click here for Principal & Guidance Counselor letter 2018 Principals Letter
2018 Citywide Winners
First Place – Hand Drawn Art
K-3 Gabriella Otero – American Heritage
4-5 – Mia Morelli – Central Pk Elementary
| First Place Literature
K-3 – Marley Paulakos – Tropical Elementary
4-5 – Anthony Rodriguez – Tropical Elementary
|First Place Poetry
Tanishq Grover, Central Park Elementary
Second Place – Hand Drawn Art
- K – 3: Mia Rudich, Tropical Elementary
- 4 – 5: Yael Bilia, Central Park Elementary
Second Place – Literature
- 4 – 5: Sarah Gorde, Tropical Elementary
Third Place – Hand Drawn Art
- K – 3: Matteo Fox, Tropical Elementary
- 4 – 5: Pavitra Soni, Central Park Elementary
Third Place – Literature
- 4 – 5: Chiarah Plancher, Tropical Elementary
1st Place – Central Park Elementary: 4th Grade – Austin Pendygraff
2nd Place – Tropical Elementary: 4th Grade – Sydney Hatch
3rd Place – Central Park Elementary: 4th Grade – Jonathan Solomon
Member of the Year – Lt. Andre Merlucci
Plantation lieutenant Andre Merlucci truly personifies the phrase “Service above self.”
Andre was selected as Plantation’s 2018 member of the Year because of his commitment and dedication to serving both his community and the Nation.
Merlucci joined the Plantation Fire Department in 2006 as a paramedic with the Rescue Division and quickly absorbed the culture of the Fire Department.
In 2007 he became one of the Department’s first SWAT medics and helped develop that program in cooperation with the Police Department.
In December of 2009 Andre answered the call to serve his Country by joining the army. Only a few months later he was deployed to Afghanistan where he served as a combat medic.
In December of 2010 he returned home safe and sound and returned to the Fire Department where he put his experience from the battlefield to work here on Plantation’s streets.
He continued his participation as a SWAT medic, reenergized the Department’s ALS competition team, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2016.
In his free time Andre volunteers in the department’s logistics unit helping keep track of and managing the extensive medical inventory.
Most recently Andre has accepted responsibility for coordinating the County Grant funded Stop the Bleed program in which all Plantation’s Police Officers and now school faculty are taught how to manage patients with life threatening bleeding injuries.
Merlucci maintains his CPR, ACLS and EMS Instructors certificates and also teaches paramedic part-time at HCI Education Center.
Andre is married to wife Monica, who is also a Lieutenant with the Fire Department, and they have three children.
Merlucci was honored at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast on October 10, then again at City Council on October 24th. He was also honored by the local Kiwanis Club.
Member of the Year – Firefighter Herb Northwalton
When it comes to commitment, Plantation firefighter Herb Northwalton embraces the concept of a volunteer firefighter like none other.
After retiring from FDNY and moving to Florida Herb, (with some encouragement from his wife) joined the Plantation Fire Department in 1999.
During his two decades of service Herb has become involved in many aspects of the Department including the Dive Rescue team, an instructor for both Firefighter I and Firefighter II programs and has served as a lieutenant at Station 5. Herb also puts his video and photography skills to use as a photographer with the Media Services Division.
“I just love it,” says Northwalton when asked why he does it. “I guess it’s just in my blood.”
As well as the above activities Herb remains an active firefighter at Station 5 and maintain his Fire Instructor I, CPR, and Live Fire Instructor certifications.
Northwalton graduated from the City University of New York (CUNY) with a BS in communications and is currently employed in the City of Sunrise, Leisure Services Division.
He is married to Tania, his wife of 38 years and has five children. “And none of them are in the fire service,” he admits.
Northwalton was honored at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast on October 10, then again at City Council on October 24th. He was also honored by the local Kiwanis Club.
Business of the Year – GFWC Plantation Woman’s Club
Fire prevention is one of the primary jobs of a modern fire department. Public Education, community preparedness, and risk reduction are all keys to a safe and healthy community.
Plantation’s Fire Department has always placed a high priority on all its public affairs activities. But limited budgets and other financial demands often constrain the Public Affairs Division’s ability to bring exciting, fresh ideas to the community.
That’s where the GFWC Plantation Woman’s Club comes in. For years, whenever there were financial gaps to fill, the Woman’s Club has answered the call. From Pluggie, the electronic fire hydrant, to refitting Sparky and Big Bob, building out a Public Education trailer and now sponsoring the Department’s Paint the Truck campaign, the GFWC Plantation Woman’s Club has always been there.
Over the years the Woman’s Club has become more than a donor. They have become a partner in supporting our public education efforts and directly contributing to saving lives.
And even in years when the Public Affairs Division did not request any funds they continued their support by purchasing rapid dive rescue gear, and exercise equipment to keep our firefighters healthy and fit for the demands of the job.
Throughout the years, the GFWC Plantation Woman’s Club has provided the Fire Department with more than $50,000 worth of donated items, all directly related to the betterment, health, and safety of our community.
For those reasons, and even more importantly, for the long term commitment to a solid partnership, the Fire Department celebrates the GFWC Plantation Woman’s Club as our 2018 Business of the Year.