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.


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.

PEG Recipient Pursues a Career in Nursing

Dec 23, 2014

After suffering a burn injury at a young age, Sara Christenson recognizes the challenge of growing up as a burn survivor. Instead of letting the experience weigh her down, she uses it to help others. She volunteers at Shriners Hospital for Children, supporting young burn survivors through their recovery process. Sara travels to other Shriners hospitals to share her story and serves as a camp counselor at several different burn camps. “Survivors who were injured at a young age have the additional burden of growing up as a burn survivor,” she said. “Given the love, support and guidance of my family and friends I believe I have resumed life and am now focused on creating positive experiences for my community.”

Twenty-Four Students Benefit from PEG in 2014

Dec 15, 2014

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, a record number of burn survivors are furthering their education during the 2014-15 school year with the help of a Phoenix Education Grant (PEG). The PEG committee, which consists of former PEG recipients, PEG donors, and Phoenix Society board members, reviewed the applications and awarded grants this year ranging from $500 to $4,000. Although these 24 scholars are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, from science to art, they all display a passion for helping others and living to their full potential.

Education Grant Recipient Shares Message of Hope and Healing

Dec 10, 2014

Bridget believes her journey recovering from severe burn injuries gave her a new outlook on life. “I feel like a part of me died after the fire,” she said. “But what I gained was incredible and inspiring. Being a burn survivor doesn’t mean you lost your life, it means you get a chance to start again.” As a mother of four, Bridget sought strength from her children, who were also burned in the house fire. She realized that by covering her scars, she was actually hiding the things they all overcame.

Tips for Coping During the Holidays After Loss of a Loved One

Dec 5, 2014

It is possible to survive a trauma or loss and find meaning in the holidays again. The most important coping strategy to remember, especially during those first holidays, is to create space for difficult feelings and awkward moments.

A Review of The Journey Back

Dec 3, 2014

Discovering The Journey Back has benefited me in my role as a trainer for an "after the crisis" program (TECIP) as well as a Director of Student Services for a small school district. While I would never wish a traumatic event on anyone, we have learned that crisis does not discriminate. When I hear about a student who has suffered from a fire, I feel like The Journey Back has provided me a gift to deliver to that student and his/her family.

The Journey Back, School Reentry - How You Can Help

Nov 19, 2014

Growing up is hard work and every child copes differently with the social, emotional, and academic rigors of attending school. After a burn injury or traumatic loss, day-to-day challenges are compounded by additional stressors. Helping a child regain a sense of normalcy to their lives after burn injury and reconnect with their peer community is critical. School reentry is an important part of that process. Parents, teachers, guidance counselors or caring adults can get the information from The Journey Back to offer support.

PRESS RELEASE - Phoenix Society Awarded Federal Fire Prevention Grant

Nov 18, 2014

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a $269,000 grant to Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The grant will support and expand the Phoenix Society’s Phoenix SOAR® (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery®) program, with particular emphasis in increasing the access to firefighter peer support, educational information, and resources for burn-injured firefighters, their families, and everyone in the fire service affected by burn injury.

The Journey Back, Making School Reentry Easier for Young Survivors

Nov 17, 2014

Helping children regain a sense of normalcy to their lives after burn injury and a reconnection with their peer community prompted the development of The Journey Back school re-entry program several years ago. When I was a child life specialist, I had been asked several times to present a school re-entry program on very short notice and without much preparation on how to implement such a program. School re-entry programs can be instrumental to a child’s transition in healing and after learning that many other colleagues were challenged with the same task -- and many schools and families were desperately searching for help -- it motivated me to figure out how we could make this process easier.

Media Advisory - CMA star Chris Young and Kidde Promote National Fire Safety Campaign

Nov 5, 2014

Grammy nominated singer Chris Young and Kidde Fire Safety are partnering to shine a “Spotlight on Fire Safety”. This national campaign is designed to help keep families safe and will also help burned firefighters by expanding the Phoenix SOAR (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery) program. Phoenix SOAR for firefighters is the first national initiative supporting burned firefighters. Kidde and Young will be joined by national and local fire service including Tulare (CA) Division Chief and Phoenix SOAR-trained peer supporter, Luis Nevarez and Phoenix Society Executive Director Amy Acton.

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