Burn Community Blog

The Phoenix Society is a community of burn survivors, their loved ones, health professionals, and firefighters. We work together to ensure that no one feels alone as they get back to life after a burn injury. Follow our blog for stories and resources by the burn community, for the burn community.


No One Should Face Burn Recovery Alone: Oscar’s Video Testimonial

Captain Oscar Barrera was a long-time firefighter; after struggling through burn recovery alone, he came to realize that he needed help.

Sharing Strength after Surviving a Tragedy: Danielle’s Story

Jun 29, 2015

After surviving a burn to her leg on the job as a firefighter, Danielle is pursuing training as a Phoenix SOAR peer supporter in order to help others.

The Power of Peer Support: A Firefighter’s Story

You come to know the value of peer support when you’re faced with a life changing injury. Peer support for burn survivors helps speed and strengthen recovery by offering hope at a challenging time, and the simple truth is that the sooner burn victims connect to resources and caring people, the sooner they can get back to living. Phoenix SOAR® (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery®) connects burn survivors to a community of people who share their experience. Mitch Dryer, burn survivor, peer supporter, and retired firefighter, shares his story in a compelling video testimonial. Watch for more featured stories in the coming weeks, of those who's lives have been impacted by Phoenix SOAR!

New PSA With Burn-Injured Firefighters Describes What Peer Support Means to Them

Jun 17, 2015

The healing journey of a burn injured firefighter can have its unique challenges. We understand how the healing paths of the firefighter survivor and their family can be vastly different. The firefighter survivor often hopes to return to the profession where the burn injury occurred, while family members may struggle with the fear of loss. The physical recovery is challenging, but psychological recovery can be overwhelming. Watch personal testimonials from our new PSA with real burn-injured firefighters and others who describe what peer support means to them:

News: Phoenix Society Launches a National Phoenix SOAR Campaign for Firefighters

Press Release (June 17, 2015). Grand Rapids, MI The healing journey of a burn-injured firefighter can have its unique challenges – and the healing paths of the firefighter survivor and their family can be vastly different. A firefighter survivor often hopes to return to the profession where the burn injury occurred, while family members may struggle with the fear of loss. The physical recovery is challenging, but the psychological recovery can be overwhelming. A national outreach and education campaign was recently launched to more broadly publicize the peer support (Phoenix Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery, or Phoenix SOAR) and other resources that are available for those in the fire service who have been affected by a burn injury. This initiative furthers the work that Phoenix Society and project partners—the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Charitable Foundation, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), and the University of Kentucky—have accomplished in this area.

What the PEG Scholarship Means to Me

Jun 10, 2015

Sara Christensen is a two-time recipient of the Phoenix Education Grant (PEG) all while pursuing her college education at Miami University. She recently graduated and is now working at Kettering Hospital in the Adult Intensive Care Unit. Sara reached out to Phoenix Society to share her education journey and thank the donors who helped to make her education dreams possible.

Participate in a Research Study - Social Skills Training!

May 27, 2015

Your Experience Matters! Are you interested in participating in a Research Study about our online Social Skills Training module - "Beyond Surviving, Tools for Thriving After Burn Injury?" Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors would like to invite you to participate in an online research study for survivors of burn injury and their friends or family members. The primary goal of this study is to see the effects of a Social Skills Training program titled “Beyond Surviving … Tools for Thriving after a Burn Injury” in reducing social anxiety and improving community participation among burn survivors. Phoenix Society is collaborating with UT Southwestern and the North Texas Burn Rehabilitation Model System in conducting this research to assess the effectiveness of the online Social Skills Training. Find out more!

Phoenix Society Facts & Statistics

Read our updated 2015 Phoenix Society Facts & Statistics

Paul Machado - ‘Faces of Fire’ Burn-Injured Firefighter Story

May 15, 2015

Our friends at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) through the Fire Sprinkler Initiative, has collaborated with Phoenix Society to produce PSA's to promote the use of fire sprinklers in one- and two-family homes. By sharing the burn survivor's voice with purpose, we hope to affect change and prevent future burn injuries and deaths. Paul Machado, firefighter, sustained numerous injuries and burns on the job while escaping a fast-moving and intense house fire. Another co-worker was also seriously injured in the incident. Paul states that home fire sprinklers would have made a difference in the outcome of this fire event.

2015 Membership Drive Kicks Off

Apr 20, 2015

Hope. Healing. Connections. Change. It’s all possible when the burn community comes together. That’s why we’re excited to announce the launch of the Phoenix Society’s 2015 Membership Drive. Become Part of Our Member Community in 2015. As a member, you'll be the first to hear about the future of our work and ways to connect with the burn community. With your member support, we will bring even more support to burn survivors and their loved ones with: New online tools, to reach more survivors and share more resources with our existing community Expansion of our peer support network, to serve almost 70 hospitals and reach over 14,000 new burn survivors and their loved ones Continued growth of the Phoenix World Burn Congress, which had another record-setting year in 2014 with over 1,000 attendees And much more that you’ll be the first to hear about as a member!

Myth Buster: Alarm Battery Chirps Aren’t Pre-Programmed to Interrupt Sleep

Mar 6, 2015

As time “springs forward,” our partners at Kidde shed light on this common pet peeve and remind homeowners of steps beyond changing batteries. Read the Press Release: Mebane, N.C., March 6, 2015 – It’s a sound nearly every homeowner has heard: the dreaded 2 a.m. chirp signifying a smoke or carbon monoxide (CO) alarm with a low battery. A survey conducted on behalf of Kidde Fire Safety, a leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products, ranked late-night low-battery chirps as homeowners’ top smoke alarm annoyance. So why does it happen? Kidde, a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), is setting the record straight — it’s a matter of the battery’s charge level and a home’s air temperature.

Kidde, NASCAR Champion Kevin Harvick Drive Home the Message of Fire Safety

Feb 24, 2015

MEBANE, N.C., Feb. 23, 2015 — NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick and Kidde Fire Safety have teamed up to promote home fire safety and prevention. On Feb. 13, Harvick and Kidde donated Kidde smoke alarms with sealed 10-year batteries to the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association (FFMIA) at the Daytona International Speedway. Harvick is also spreading the word about fire safety by sharing his own personal home fire experience in new Share Your Story videos on Kidde’s website and YouTube channel. In late 2013, Harvick, his wife and his son escaped without injury when a fire abruptly started in their North Carolina home. Due to a working smoke alarm and a quick response from the local fire department, Harvick and his family members’ lives were spared and their home was saved. Since the incident, he has sought to educate the public about the importance of working smoke alarms and to show appreciation to firefighters. “I know first-hand that smoke alarms are a key factor in protecting what matters most — our families and our homes,” Harvick said.

Former Firefighter Using Education Grant to Continue Helping Others

Feb 19, 2015

Brooke will now put her passion for helping others to use by counseling other burn victims and people with post traumatic stress disorder. “I have always been pulled toward public service. My injury, while closing the door to a career on a fire truck, showed me a whole new community I didn’t even know existed,” she said. After attending several Phoenix World Burn Congresses and other events for burn survivors, Brooke realized this new community could also provide her a new beginning.

Fire Chiefs Create “Super Safety Challenge” for the Big Game

Feb 1, 2015

You just have to love Kidde and the fire service - participating with a FUN way to promote saving lives, all while enjoying the highest rated sports game of the year - The Super Bowl! Read the press release below about the great promotion from Kidde, (one of Phoenix Society partners), with the cities of Boston and Seattle's Fire Departments. MEBANE, N.C., Jan. 30, 2015 — When the football teams from New England and Seattle face each other Sunday, Feb. 1, each city’s fire chief will watch the game for more than bragging rights. Boston Fire Commissioner/Chief Joseph Finn and Seattle Interim Fire Chief Michael E. Walsh in coordination with Kidde Fire Safety, have agreed to a safety challenge that may help save lives. Kidde is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX). The chief of the winning team’s city will receive 200 Kidde Worry-Free 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms to install in homes in need throughout the city. The losing city’s chief will receive 100 of the same alarms and must install them wearing the other team’s jersey. "With this friendly wager, the public in each city will benefit from receiving smoke alarms from Kidde,” said Boston’s Finn. “Smoke alarms are proven life-savers that give a needed early warning to the public."

PEG Recipient - Overcomes Tragedy and Pursues Teaching Career

Jan 29, 2015

Though he was too young to comprehend the devastation of the Salvadoran Civil War, Jose Rivas experienced it firsthand when he suffered burns on 25-percent of his body when he was just three years old. Six years later, Jose and his family fled El Salvador to seek medical treatment for him in California. “The Salvadoran Civil War, and the scars it inflicted upon me, has inspired me to look back at my country and appreciate the beauty of the land, its rich history and culture, and the people who paid the ultimate price to stop the injustice,” said Jose. Instead of allowing the tragedy of his past define him, Jose overcame his challenges and now looks forward to a future focused on teaching and writing.

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