BOSTON, MA – Liberty Mutual Insurance is celebrating America’s firefighters by announcing the recipients of its National Firemark Award for Heroism and Community Service – Master Firefighter Hope Scott of Virginia Beach, Va., and Firefighter Martin “Skip” Ockomon of Anderson, Ind.  For their everyday self-sacrifice and tireless efforts to promote public safety, Liberty Mutual will award the Virginia Beach and Anderson Fire Departments each with a $10,000 grant in the winners’ honor.

A committee comprised of numerous fire safety organizations selected 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 2010.  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.

“The Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award recipients exemplify the unique courage and commitment firefighters demonstrate every day to help us prevent the devastation of a home fire and to protect us when they do occur,” said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual Insurance senior vice president of Marketing.  “As a company that also embraces our responsibility to protect lives and homes, it is fitting for us to honor Firefighters Scott and Ockomon and to celebrate the countless men and women – career or volunteer – who serve our communities so selflessly.”

Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Heroism

Master Firefighter Hope Scott, Virginia Beach Fire Department

In October 2010, multiple 911 calls came in for a house fire with people trapped inside.  When Master Firefighter Hope Scott arrived on the scene with the rest of the #7 crew from the Virginia Beach Fire Department, a chaotic scene was unfolding.  Hearing that a 16-month-old child remained trapped inside, Scott instinctively climbed the ladder and entered the burning house – without the protection of a fire hose – to locate and save the child.  It is for this bravery and self-sacrifice that Master Firefighter Hope Scott is the recipient of the Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Heroism. 

Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Community Service

Firefighter Martin “Skip” Ockomon, Anderson Fire Department

A witness to so many fire-related tragedies throughout his career and inspired by the resilience families demonstrate in the wake of disaster, Anderson Firefighter Skip Ockomon translated his commitment to Madison County into the creation of the Fire Rescue House in Anderson in 2009.  The Fire Rescue House provides fire victims immediate shelter, meals, counseling and also works with a local real estate company to find long-term housing for displaced families.  Firefighter Ockomon and his team have since expanded to four Fire Rescue Houses in Indiana and Kentucky, with plans underway to create locations in Texas.  Ockomon says his goal is to have a Fire Rescue House in every community across the country.  It is for this commitment and vision that Firefighter Martin “Skip” Ockomon is the recipient of the Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Community Service. 

In addition to the awards and fire department grants, National Firemark Award winners Scott and Ockomon also each receive a trip for four to the Walt Disney World Resort® in Florida where they can visit the largest fire safety exhibit in the United States, Liberty Mutual’s “Where’s the Fire?”TM attraction at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®.

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 a brigade for extinguishing a fire on the premises.

Firefighters Scott, Ockomon and other past Liberty Mutual Firemark Award winners are celebrated on www.BeFireSmart.com, an educational website created by Liberty Mutual for parents, children, educators, and firefighters, featuring engaging videos, lesson plans for teachers, and interactive games on fire safety and prevention.  The website also is 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.

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