PEMA: Winning Turn Around, Don’t Drown Student PSA Now Airing

The PA Emergency Management Agency Monday announced the winning entry in the student TV PSA Contest held earlier this year is now airing on TV stations across the state through the end of the month.

The contest focused on the safety message “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” and was open to all Pennsylvania students in grades 7-12. PEMA received 63 submissions, which were initially judged at the agency’s regional offices to select nine finalists, which were then judged at PEMA headquarters last month by emergency management partners.

“We were blown away by the creativity of the videos we received,” said PEMA Director Richard D. Flinn Jr. “The students who submitted these videos obviously understood the serious nature of the message we asked them to depict. It’s our hope that drivers in Pennsylvania take the message seriously too.”

The winning entry was created and submitted by Joseph Burke, an 8th grader at Nazareth Area Middle School, Northampton County. Joseph won a $1,000 cash prize and worked with staff from WFMZ Ch. 69 in Allentown to professionally reproduce his submission for airing.

Click Here to view the winning video.

Submissions from the following students were awarded second and third place--

-- Second Place (sharing $600 prize): Ephrata Middle School (Lancaster County) 8th graders: Alyssa F., Olivia G., Madeline G., Emily F., Maya B., Cecilia C., Click Here to view the video; and

-- Third Place ($250 prize): Halifax High School (Dauphin County) 10th grader: Tyson N., Click Here to view the video.

Flinn said “People’s Choice” voting is now underway. The winner of the People’s Choice award, to be announced in April, will win a cash prize of $250.

The cash prizes were made possible with generous support from AccuWeather, the PA Turnpike Commission, and the PA Association of Broadcasters Foundation.

Flinn thanked the following organizations for their assistance in making the contest a success: the state departments of Education, and Conservation and Natural Resources; American Red Cross; United Way of Pennsylvania; Keystone Emergency Management Association; and National Weather Service.

Flinn said the winner of the Poster Contest, held earlier this year for Pennsylvania students in grades 1-6, will be announced on March 29.

The theme for that contest is “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.” The winning entry will be displayed at state parks, welcome centers and rest stops in Pennsylvania throughout the summer.

Visit for information on how to be prepared for weather and other emergencies.

[Posted: March 20, 2017]


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