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IAFF Burn Foundation Briefing - October 2012
Posted On: Nov 16, 2012
Burn Camp 2012

 


 

Burn Camp 2012



 



Teenage burn survivors spent a week in the Nation’s Capital September 22-29, 2012, for the 17th International Burn Camp, organized by the IAFF Charitable Foundation’s Burn Fund.

The camp, which pairs campers with fire fighter camp counselors from the United States and Canada, includes sightseeing, recreation, networking and psychosocial activities designed to help campers and counselors connect with and learn from other burn survivors.

“Fire fighters bear witness every day to the trauma caused by burns, and they know that healing takes time,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “That’s why the Burn Camp and IAFF Charitable Foundation are committed to providing this therapeutic experience for burn survivors each year.”

As campers arrived at Baltimore- Washington International Airport, Anne Arundel County, MD Local 1563 and Baltimore-Washington International Airport Local 1742 provided transportation to Camp Wabanna, home to campers for the week. The following day, Arlington County, VA Local 2800 hosted the opening ceremony at Station 5 featuring good food, great company and a visit from the Iron Warriors Fire and Police, a motorcycle club comprised of active, reserve and retired fire fighters and police dedicated to providing financial and community support to those in need.

Throughout the week, campers toured the Washington, DC metro region, including the White House, U.S. Capitol, Mount Vernon, the U.S. Naval Academy and Arlington Cemetery, and enjoyed hospitality extended by several IAFF affiliates, including Fort Myer, VA Local F-253, Fairfax County, VA Local 2068, Naval District of Washington Local F-121 and Fort Belvoir, VA Local F-273, as well as the Anne Arundel County Burn Foundation, Inc. (see box for the complete list of Burn Camp supporters).

The IAFF Charitable Foundation supports IAFF members and their families in their time of need, promotes fire and burn prevention, advocates for fire fighter health and safety, and provides public education on how to prevent and recover from burn trauma. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.iafffoundation.org.
The 2013 International Burn Camp is September 21-28, 2013.
 

 


 

Headlines


IAFF Burn Foundation News


A Special Thank You to All Who Made Camp a Success!


Paul Davis Restoration Celebrates 20 Years of Supporting Burn Survivors



Fire Fighters and Other Community Heroes


"9/11 Survivor -- Now a State Senator -- Wants You to Thank Service Members Who Fought in Iraq"
"J.R. Martinez Addresses Hundreds, Accepts Award at Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress"
"No Excuses: Kyle Maynard Delivers Inspiring Speech to Burn Survivors"
"Phoenix Society's World Burn Congress 2012"
"Inside Burn Unit With Tulsa Firefighters Injured in School Explosion"

Taking Action


"Demonstration Shows Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems"

Fire Prevention and Burn Awareness


"'Explosive ' Video From Monroe Fire Department"
"Sprinklers Credited With Putting Out Nursing Home Fire in Sykesville"

Burn Treatment and Research


"Burn-Survivor Summer Camps Let Kids Shake Off the Stares"
"Expert Explains Importance of Self-Compassion to Burn Survivors, Caregivers"
"Burn Center Employees Face Demanding Tasks"
"Burn Disaster Response Planning in New York City: Updated Recommendations for Best Practices"
"Adapting to Life After Burn Injury -- Reflections on Care"
"Harwood Treats Burn Victims"

Hazardous Products and Recalls


"Honda Recalls 489,000 CR-V Crossovers for Fire Risk"
"Girl, 6, Suffers Severe Burns After Getting Hair Styled"
"Kids Playing With Lighter Blamed for One of 2 Weekend Fires"
"600,000 Mr. Coffee Brewers Recalled After 61 Suffer Burns"
"Inflatable Recreational Tubes Recalled by Tractor Supply Due to Chemical Burn and Irritation Hazard"


 

IAFF Burn Foundation News


A Special Thank You to All Who Made Camp a Success!



 



2012 International Burn Camp Sponsors and Supporters

The IAFF Charitable Foundation extends its gratitude for generous financial and personal contributions made by IAFF affiliates, corporate sponsors and regional burn foundations across North America.

Corporate Sponsors:
• A Pro DJ
• Big John’s DJ Service
• Bleve Entertainment, Help the Good Guys and Bucky Covington
• Digital Lightning
• Fantasy World
• Foer’s Pharmacy
• Funtastic Foods
• George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate
• Kona Ice
• Linus Project-Loudon County
• Martz Group
• MedSTAR Transport
• Runzheimer International
• Terry Hughes Photography

IAFF Affiliates and Fire Departments:
• Arlington County, VA Local 2800
• Baltimore-Washington International Airport Local 1742
• Fairfax County, VA Local 2068
• Florida Professional Firefighters
• Fort Belvoir, VA Local F-273
• Fort Myer, VA Local F-273
• Jacksonville Firefighters, FL Local 122
• Mississauga, ON Local 1212
• Prince William County, VA Local 2598
• Washington, DC Local 36

Burn Foundations and Camps:
• Anne Arundel County Burn Foundation, Inc.
• DC Firefighters Burn Foundation
• Chicago Firefighters Union Burn Foundation
• Children’s Burn Camp of North Florida
• Dead Goat Burn Society
• Denver Fire Fighters Burn Foundation
• Edmonton Fire Fighters Burn Treatment Society
• Firefighters Burn Fund, Inc.
• Firefighter’s Burn Institute
• Firefighters Burn Treatment Society
• Florida Firefighters Charities
• Portland Firefighters Children’s Burn Foundation
• San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation Inc.
• Saskatchewan Professional Fire Fighters Association Burn Fund
 


Paul Davis Restoration Celebrates 20 Years of Supporting Burn Survivors



 



2012 was a special year for the Midwest Regional Burn Foundation and its long time sponsor, Paul Davis Restoration. Owner Jeff Goldman, and his staff, along with firefighters from Locals 42, 64, 1371 and 2665 came together for the 20th annual golf tournament to support burn survivors. With 36 foursomes participating and over 100 door prizes the event has become a ritual for participants. The $7000.00 raised this year indicates the dedication by all involved to help those affected by burn injuries.


 

Fire Fighters and Other Community Heroes


9/11 Survivor -- Now a State Senator -- Wants You to Thank Service Members Who Fought in Iraq
Houston Chronicle (09/11/12) Kasperkevic, Jana

Despite suffering burns over 60 percent of his body when American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Texas state Sen. Brian Birdwell still pressed on through recovery to achieve his current political position and found a nonprofit burn organization to help burn survivors. Birdwell, who had been a a military aide to the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management at the Pentagon, retired in 2004 and, while still recovering from his wounds, together with his wife founded the nonprofit Face the Fire, an organization that "supports critical burn survivors and wounded servicemen and women and their families." Six years later Birdwell pursued a career as a state senator when then-Sen. Kip Averitt retired. While he said he founded the burn organization to "comfort others as [he was] comforted," he said his pursuit of a state Senate position was like being called back to military service. "It’s public service, just not in the uniform," he said, adding that he "will do it as long as the people [of Texas] will have [him]."
 



J.R. Martinez Addresses Hundreds, Accepts Award at Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress
Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors (09/15/12)

"Dancing with the Stars" winner J.R. Martinez recently spoke to burn survivors at the Phoenix Society’s 2012 World Burn Congress, an annual event for health care workers, fire fighters, and people impacted by burn injuries. For his work on behalf of burn survivors, Martinez was given the Phoenix Society’s inaugural Advocacy award. He attended his first World Burn Congress five years after receiving his injury, and says the event and the Phoenix Society serve to remind survivors that they are not alone. Martinez encouraged survivors to speak out with their stories, and was met with a standing ovation.
 



No Excuses: Kyle Maynard Delivers Inspiring Speech to Burn Survivors
Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors (09/13/12) Caminata, Nate

The Phoenix Society’s 24th annual World Burn Congress in Milwaukee, Wis., saw congenital amputee survivor Kyle Maynard deliver a speech meant to inspire hope for and instill determination inside burn survivors. Maynard, who was born with a condition where his arms end at the elbows and legs end at the knees, explained that he had to cope with the same "looks, stares, and questions" throughout his life that many burn survivors and others with visual disabilities have to cope with. He stressed that those with external disabilities should not think that everyone without such a disability is perfect or in any way better. "Realistically, every person on the planet has some kind of disability to deal with -- and sometimes things are more internal, that we never see, and sometimes far more debilitating than that on the outside," Maynard explained. While he acknowledged that moving past a disability might be hard, he said it is still possible, saying that no one should allow themselves to live a limited life or operate at a limited capacity because of an impairment. Maynard praised the Phoenix Society for helping burn survivors to move on with their lives despite what they have suffered through. "It’s accepting the fact we’re not going to be happy 365 days a year, but it’s about not staying in that place, and using opportunities like the Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress, and the little things that happen that make us appreciate the life we have, and using it as a tool to keep moving forward," he said.
 



Phoenix Society's World Burn Congress 2012
Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors (09/06/12)

Amy Acton, executive director of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, in Grand Rapids, Mich., has made working with burn survivors the focus of her career because of her own personal experience as a survivor of an electrical burn injury in 1981. She has worked as a burn nurse and manager for 13 years, and remains very involved in the effort to expand burn recovery services locally, regionally, and nationally. Brooke Linman, a burn survivor and fire fighter, says she found the place where she belonged, surrounded by other burn survivors, when she attended her first Phoenix Society World Burn Congress in New York City in 2009. The conference enabled Linman to find herself again, gain a sense of hope renewed, and participate in a fire fighter peer support program that tackles issues that weigh on burn-injured fire fighters. "Fire fighters are a different breed, mainly because we're trying to get back to what hurt us," she says. Lionel Crowther, another burn survivor and fire fighter, finally found the support he needed when he attended the 2009 gathering and connected with other fire fighters with similar experiences. A participant in the peer support group for fire fighters, Crowther says "we learned that every burn survivor is an individual, and every individual has to have their own path."
 



Inside Burn Unit With Tulsa Firefighters Injured in School Explosion
NewsOn6.com (09/20/12) Lowry, Lacie

Three Oklahoma fire fighters injured in an explosion while putting out a fire at Tulsa's old Barnard Elementary in September allowed for the treatment of the various burns they received to be chronicled by local news affiliates to show the path one must follow when recovering from severe burn damage. The fire fighters were treated at Hillcrest Medical Center's burn unit, and had injuries on various parts of their bodies including their hands and ears, some of which required skin grafts -- using skin taken from their thighs -- to heal properly. "It definitely takes some time to recover from this kind of injury," said Dr. Robert Kirk of the medical center. "Even once the wound heals, the skin graft is staying alive. There's not much chance of infection anymore. The skin is not very tough, it's fragile." Kirk said the fire fighters will likely soon be able to return to doing light duty at the department, but they might not be able to undertake heavier physical labor like fire fighting for several weeks.
 



 

Taking Action


Demonstration Shows Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems
KHON2.com (Hawaii) (10/05/12) Morales, Manolo

A recent demonstration by fire fighters at the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) in Hawaii showed how sprinklers can prevent a fire from reaching a critical flashover point, saving lives and valuables. The fire fighters put two rooms side by side, one with a sprinkler system and one without, and set them aflame. The room without the sprinkler system was engulfed within three minutes time, while the room with the sprinkler system had the sprinklers activate and douse the fire in under 30 seconds. The first room experienced a flashover, which HFD Battalion Chief Socrates Bratakos described as "something that nobody can live [through], not even a fire fighter with their fire fighter gear and breathing apparatus." Despite the effectiveness of sprinkler systems, their price tag of nearly $20,000 for a single-family home acts as a major deterrent to homeowners. But the investment is worth it, considering how effective the system was in the test. "Not only would the occupants have escaped from that fire, but the damage would have been minimal," explained Bratakos.
 



 

Fire Prevention and Burn Awareness


'Explosive ' Video From Monroe Fire Department
Patch.com (09/10/12)

The Monroe (Georgia) Fire Department is using a new tool that it believes can help reduce the number of fires in homes, especially those that ignite in the kitchen. "The best fires we fight are the ones that never start," said Captain Jack Armstrong, in reference to a new "explosive" stove fire simulator the department is using to educate the community about fire risks in the kitchen. The simulator is one of several items the department has purchased to help educate the community about preventing fires. One of the things the simulator demonstrates is how to extinguish a grease fire, which is best put out by using an ABC Fire Extinguisher, placing a lid or plate on the pot, or dousing with flour, rather than using water. The Monroe Fire Department says almost 60 percent of all structure fires start in the kitchen and nearly 90 percent of those fires are cooking related. The department paid for the simulator via a grant from the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.
 



Sprinklers Credited With Putting Out Nursing Home Fire in Sykesville
Baltimore Sun (09/22/12)

Sprinklers were credited with putting out a small fire at Fairhaven Retirement Community in Sykesville, Md., on Sept. 21, according to the State Fire Marshalls' office. The fire was caused when an elderly resident at the facility tried to shorten the oxygen tubing assisting him with breathing by cutting the tubing, then using a metal awl and a cigarette lighter to make the tube fit into the adapter on the machine. This process ignited nearby combustible material, and the resultant fire thrived in the oxygen-rich environment. Staff in the building were alerted to the fire by the resident and by fire alarms going off, and they were able to move all of the other residents out of harm's way. The fire caused some $50,000 in damages to the facility but caused no injuries or loss of life. Maryland State Fire Marshal William Barnard said that the incident was, "another example of the effectiveness of the protections afforded by automatic fire sprinklers in residential occupancies."
 



 

Burn Treatment and Research


Burn-Survivor Summer Camps Let Kids Shake Off the Stares
USA Today (08/28/12) DiBlasio, Natalie

The Mid-Atlantic Burn Camp, located in Clarksville, Md., treats youth burn survivors to a summer camp experience where they do not have to worry about their scars drawing unwarranted attention. The free-to-attend camp --founded by former physical therapists at the Baltimore Regional Burn Center at Johns Hopkins, Linda French and Tonas Kalil -- contains rope courses, horseback riding, crafts, archery, cooking, singing, a pool, and various other activities. All of the camp's attendees have been treated for burns that were severe enough to leave scarring, require skin grafts, or even cause damage to nerves, muscles, tendons, and bone. Camp counselors say the camp is all about making the burn survivors feel good about themselves, and the kids agree. "Burn camp is a place you can be yourself without people staring at you," said Maybeline, a 13-year-old scarred by oil who has been coming to the camp for six years. "At the mall with my friends, there is a lot of staring. Sometimes you feel like an outcast, but here you don't." More than 50 burn camps like this one exist throughout the United States.
 



Expert Explains Importance of Self-Compassion to Burn Survivors, Caregivers
Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors (09/14/12) Caminata, Nate

Kristin Neff, an associate professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas, spoke at the Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress in September on the theory of self-compassion and how it can help burn survivors cope with the mental and physical pain caused by their wounds. She defined self-compassion as "treating ourselves kindly, as we would a good friend we cared about," and explained that the goal is to stress the movement away from self-judgement and self-criticizing while at the same time understanding natural human imperfection. "Self-compassion involves embracing one’s own experiences of suffering with kindness, concern, and active self-soothing," she said. "Although people suffer to different degrees in their lives, everyone experiences suffering, and remembering this fact can help people feel less isolated by their life circumstances." She further explained that self-compassion is not constrained by the limits of self-esteem, which can dwindle if a person's appearance is starkly different from others or if a person is rejected by others because of their appearance. "Self-compassion is not contingent on appearance the way that self-esteem usually is, and doesn’t depend on social approval," she said.
 



Burn Center Employees Face Demanding Tasks
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (09/08/12) Boulton, Guy

The small percentage of healthcare workers who are drawn to working with burn patients often spend decades in the highly specialized field, and the care they provide with focus and patience is often its own reward. "Seeing a person rebuild their life is a joy," said Lynn Vice, a psychologist who has spent the last three decades at Columbia St. Mary's Regional Burn Center. The health system's burn center, which is the fourth-oldest in the country, treats 200 to 225 patients annually. Anthony Linn is one of four surgeons who work with burn patients, a process that begins with replacing the charred skin with skin grafts or a temporary artificial skin after three or four days. The nurses will care for patients for months, and they develop bonds unlike others in different healthcare fields. "You cry with patients," said Sherie Siemann, a nurse with 11 years experience working with burn patients. "You get excited with them when they reach certain accomplishments." "They will sit with patients and hold their hands," Linn noted. Bill Ester, a former truck driver who had third-degree burns on 60 percent of his body after a tanker he was driving rolled over and burst into flames 18 years ago, helped start a support group for burn survivors so other people like him could share their experiences. He said he remembers hitting a wall about six months after his accident and believing he would never regain his old life. Two years later, Ester was standing on top of Mt. Rainier, and now survivors ask him how he rebounded. "It's come full circle," he said.
 



Burn Disaster Response Planning in New York City: Updated Recommendations for Best Practices
Journal of Burn Care & Research (10/01/2012) Leahy, Nicole E.; Yurt, Roger W.; Lazar, Eliot J.; et al.

Using data from the 2009 to 2010 period, the New York City (NYC) Task Force for Patients with Burns recently updated its NYC Burn Surge Response Plan, which recommends emergency response to a hypothetical mass burn event in the city that would lead to the triage, treatment, and transportation of some 50 million adult and child victims over a three to five day period. The NYC Burn Surge Response Plan focuses on disaster response by medical personnel not specialized in burn treatment, and the three to five day period would ideally be the maximum amount of time patients would have to wait to be transported to centers specializing in burn care. The plan utilizes a scoring algorithm to predict rates of mortality and prioritize treatment of patients depending on likely survival chance. In addition to this, the plan makes recommendations for a centralized patient and resource tracking database, plan operations, activation thresholds, mass triage, communications, data flow, staffing, resource utilization, insurance for care providers, and stakeholder roles and responsibilities. The updates also include increased education for first responders and non-hospital responders, as well as for doctors and nurses not specialized in burn care. The NYC Burn Surge Response Plan is a smaller part of the New York State Burn Plan.
 



Adapting to Life After Burn Injury -- Reflections on Care
Journal of Burn Care & Research (10/01/2012) Dahl, Oili; Wickman, Marie; Wengstrom, Yvonne

A recently published study in the Journal of Burn Care & Research looked at the experiences of 12 adult burn patients as they learned to cope with their injuries after living through the traumatizing burn event and resultant therapy. The study found that burn patients often have trouble acclimating to having a fragile body, coping with daily life, and reflecting on their burn care treatment. Patients often need reassurance and need to be supplied repeatedly with information about their rehabilitation plan, including what kind of physical changes they will undergo. Patients generally want more support when handling the trauma caused by the event and want to be more involved in their own care. The researchers stressed the importance of having a strong support program in place, one which begins during initial hospital care, to help burn victims cope with their new body sensations and new body image, as well as any psychological trauma that might arise because of the sudden change.
 



Harwood Treats Burn Victims
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) (09/24/12) Boulton, Guy

Sara Harwood, a physical therapist at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital-Milwaukee, spends about half of her time working with burn patients whose injuries have resulted in a loss of motion. She sees some patients for several weeks, months, or even more than a year depending on the severity of their burns. When treating burn patients, Harwood said the approach is different from regular physical therapy. "There is a lot of pain involved and a lot of psychological and emotional strain because it is such a life altering experience," she said. "So when we are treating a person, we have to look at the whole person, instead of just their knee or their shoulder." Because the therapy can be painful, Harwood sometimes does sessions throughout the day to lessen the physical trauma. Harwood stressed that despite the pain, burn victims need to undergo physical therapy in order to established normal movement to the affected areas of their bodies. "If patients with burns do not move, they end up with contractures," she said. "And when you end up with contractures, you end up with functional impairments." Harwood admitted that the favorite part of her job was being able to see patients progress through treatment and be better off at the end of it than they were before. "I like feeling that I really can make a difference in the outcome of these patients," she said.
 



 

Hazardous Products and Recalls


Honda Recalls 489,000 CR-V Crossovers for Fire Risk
Associated Press (10/08/12)

Honda Motor Co. has issued a recall of 489,000 CR-V crossovers from model years 2002 to 2006, produced at a factory in Britain and distributed throughout the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa, for a faulty electrical switch on the driver's side door that can melt and cause a fire if exposed to large quantities of water or other liquids. While no injuries or crashes have been reported, Honda said that five fires had been reported where the switch and the cover around it caught fire and melted. The fires can start even if the car is parked and turned off, and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said owners should park their cars outside to minimize damage to homes should ignition occur. The car company said the fires are unlikely to occur unless the driver side window was left open and exposed the switch to a lot of rainwater, or someone spilled a large amount of liquid on the switch. Honda will repair the vehicles for free by installing a cover plate to protect the switch from any liquid that comes into contact with the outer covering.
 



Girl, 6, Suffers Severe Burns After Getting Hair Styled
KCTV5.com (KS) (10/02/12)

A six-year-old Kansas City girl is being treated at a Cincinnati hospital for burns after her hair caught on fire. The girl's mother believes a petroleum-type moisturizer used on Tah'Mai Gorman's hair was flammable, resulting in the fire. She said the stove was on and when Tah'Mai walked past it, her hair caught on fire. While the girl's father and friend tried to put out the flames, causing harm to themselves, she was left with third- and fourth-degree burns on her face, neck, back, and arms. She is currently being treated at Children's Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati.
 



Kids Playing With Lighter Blamed for One of 2 Weekend Fires
Capital Times (WI) (09/04/12) Novak, Bill

A pair of residential fires in Madison, Wis., kept fire fighters occupied during the Labor Day weekend. One fire was set by two boys playing with a lighter, according to a news release from the Madison Fire Department. Fire fighters found a small fire in a child's bedroom on the second floor of a residence. "The resident said her sons had taken her lighter and gone upstairs," said spokeswoman Lori Wirth. "She found they had ignited some paper." The mother put out the fire and called 9-1-1. There was minor damage to the wall and floor tiles, but no one was injured. Six fire fighting units were dispatched to a second fire at an apartment building. The fire fighters were alerted to smoke in the hallways on the first and second floors. "A smoldering rag was wedged between a railing and the wall at the bottom of stairs leading to the basement," Wirth said. "The rag burned long enough to char the wooden railing and leave a burn pattern on the wall." Many building residents left the structure upon hearing the smoke alarm, and no one was injured.
 



600,000 Mr. Coffee Brewers Recalled After 61 Suffer Burns
Los Angeles Times (08/30/12) Hsu, Tiffany

Over 600,000 Mr. Coffee single-cup brewers have been recalled, with 61 consumers reporting burns to the face, upper torso, and hands from hot steam and coffee grounds. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says steam builds up in the product’s water chamber, causing it to open and hot water and coffee grounds to fly out. The recall affects roughly 520,000 products in the United Sttaes and 80,700 in Canada that were sold between September 2010 and August 2012 at Wal-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and online. Affected models are listed on the CPSC Web site.
 



Inflatable Recreational Tubes Recalled by Tractor Supply Due to Chemical Burn and Irritation Hazard
Sacramento Bee (08/30/12)

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Tractor Supply of Brentwood, Tenn., has announced the voluntary recall of Traveller Recreational Tubes because contact with the inflatable tube can lead to severe skin irritation or burns. Tractor Supply has received 21 reports of consumers receiving severe skin irritation or burns, with seven people seeking medical attention for their injuries. Tractor Supply Stores across the country sold about 10,900 units from May 2012 through June 2012 for about $20. Consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it to any Tractor Supply Store for a full refund. The recalled tubes are made of gray rubber and measure 47 inches in diameter. Model number 1026192 can be found on the box along with UPC code 4939403118 and the words Traveller Recreational Tubes and product number 11.00R22 can be found molded into the tube itself.
 


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