The official mascot of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) looks pretty good for 60. Sparky the Fire Dog®, created for a 1951 Advertising Council campaign, has been teaching children, parents and teachers about fire prevention for six decades, and the NFPA has decided it’s time he has a voice.
To commemorate the spokesdog’s 60th birthday, the NFPA is conducting a “Voice of Sparky” contest to find one firefighter to be the voice behind the iconic Dalmation.
The competition is open to all career and volunteer firefighters, as well as other fire department employees. Those interested must submit a video of themselves giving their best Sparky impersonation to www.nfpa.org/SparkysBirthday by February 16. A panel of NFPA judges will select three finalists, and the public will choose the winner by voting for their favorite video submission on Sparky’s Facebook page.
“Sparky has allowed us to connect with millions of children and their families by making it exciting to learn about fire prevention and safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications.
According to NFPA research, children under five are one and a half times more likely to die in a home fire than the general public. “Sparky plays an important role in communicating fire safety to kids and families. The use of games, characters and children’s activities are key in providing safety messages in fun and entertaining way,” said Carli.
The honored firefighter will receive an authentic Sparky the Fire Dog costume, an all-expenses-paid trip to the Boston, Mass. area to record for the NFPA Fire Prevention Week video, and public education materials to continue spreading the word about how to prevent fires in the home.
More information on the contest is available at: www.nfpa.org/SparkysBirthday.