Virginia Beach Firefighter Wins Prestigious National Award

Thursday, June 30, 2011

On the morning of Oct. 12, 2010, at 1:50 a.m., fire crews were called to a single-family home with heavy fire in the garage and on the first floor. Upon arrival, they found family members trying to make rescues from a front porch roof and reported two victims still inside. Realizing that time was of the essence, Capt. Billy Reynolds and Firefighter Hope Scott from Engine 7 entered a second-floor window without a fire hose and encountered high heat and zero visibility. While searching the bedroom, with a fire still burning directly below, Scott located a 16-month-old child. A third firefighter from Engine 7 started to extinguish the fire on the first floor.


For this commitment to her profession as a firefighter and her fast, decisive action, Liberty Mutual Insurance, a leading national auto and home insurer, has awarded Hope Scott the National Firemark Award for Heroism and a $10,000 grant to the Virginia Beach Fire Department. 


“Hope Scott exemplifies the unique courage and commitment firefighters demonstrate every day when protecting our families and homes from devastating fires,” said Sherry Goumenis, a Liberty Mutual Insurance sales agent in Chesapeake, who nominated Scott for the award.  “As a company that also embraces a responsibility to protect people’s homes, lives and possessions, we are most pleased to celebrate her National Firemark Award by providing $10,000 to the Virginia Beach Fire Department to support its invaluable service to the community.”


A committee comprised of numerous fire safety organizations selected Scott from among more than 150 nominees, each of whom had received a local Firemark Award from a Liberty Mutual Insurance office in their community throughout 2010.  The selection committee included 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 committee also honored Firefighter Martin “Skip” Ockomon of Anderson, Ind., with the Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Community Service.


“Hope has always been a hero in my book, but on the evening she saved the child, she went above and beyond the call of duty, risking her life while doing so,” said Virginia Beach Fire Chief Steven R. Cover.  “It’s certainly a team effort to combat a fire, but it’s the quick decision of each individual crew member, such as Hope, that helps us save lives.  Hope was on the tip of the spear that evening and was prepared to execute, and for that, we’re proud to call her a hero.”


In addition to the award and the $10,000 grant to the Virginia Beach Fire Department, Scott will receive a trip for four to Disney World, where she can visit Liberty Mutual’s “Where’s the Fire?” attraction at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot.  Created in 2004, “Where’s the Fire?” is a 4,000-square-foot interactive fire safety exhibit designed by Walt Disney Imagineering in cooperation with Liberty Mutual's fire safety specialists and the U.S. Fire Administration.


For more information on the Firemark Award, visit


For more information, contact Battalion Chief Tim Riley at (757) 385-1075 or 

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