The photo was something the firefighters at the North Quincy Fire Station already had, a memento to send to one of their own who was serving in the armed forces in Afghanistan.
Yet when firefighter Matt Walsh heard about a Fire Department photo contest through Kaplansky Insurance on Facebook, that photo suddenly became worth a lot more.
“We figured we’d submit it in the contest and give it a whirl,” said Tom Bowes, a firefighter out of the North Quincy Fire Station.
The contest rules are fairly simple – submit a photo of your fire station, and get as many Facebook “likes” as possible. The winner not only will win the recognition of being the most liked in the region, but will also win $5,000.
Already, North Quincy Fire Station has received 115 likes and a number of comments, some even from residents who used to live on Quincy Point or who had family members who worked as Quincy firefighters.
The photo shows all seven members of the Department, as well as a statue representing the member overseas, standing in front of two Quincy fire trucks. It’s a tight knit group, Bowes said, and all the members have been working together for close to eight years.
More fire departments can enter into the contest up through Feb. 20, yet currently there are 20 stations participating, including Quincy’s and even one in Hingham.
Although they have received over 100 likes, Quincy is trailing behind some communities, such as Acushnet Fire and EMS and West Bridgewater Fire Department, who have over 700 likes each.
Despite the gap, Bowes didn’t seem concerned.
“We didn’t solicit any [help], but the city posted it on their website. We started posted it on different places. It just kind of started, but we have a lot of catching up to do,” he said. “It’s our goal [to win], but we’re going to need a lot of help.”
There are no proposed plans for the $5,000 prize at this time, Bowes said, but most likely it would be up to Dan Garrett, the firefighter currently in Afghanistan, if Quincy were to win.
“We’d let Dan decide what to do to it when he gets home in April. Give it to charity or something. We don’t need the money,” Bowes said. “If it doesn’t have to be used for Fire Department purposes [we’d probably give it away]. If it does, we’ll use it for safety equipment.”
Even if the Quincy Fire Department doesn't win, they at least were able to recognize one of their own.
It shows that Garrett "is still part of the group although he's over there serving his country," Bowes said.
For locals who would like to participate, visit the Kaplansky Insurance Facebook page and like the page. Then, scroll through the photos and “like” Quincy Fire Department.