Former Firefighter Using Education Grant to Continue Helping Others
An on-the-job accident forced Brooke into early retirement from her dream career: firefighting. Her near-death experience caused serious burn injuries and placed her in a medically induced coma.
Brooke will now put her passion for helping others to use by counseling other burn victims and people with posttraumatic 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.
“I realized every time I spoke on behalf of burn survivors or just told my story to someone who asked, I felt wonderful,” Brooke said. “I felt able to not just give back, but maybe to help someone on the first leg of their road to a new normal.”
Brooke is now pursuing a degree in Psychology from San Diego State University. Once she completes that goal, she hopes to take her education to the next level by continuing on to graduate school, so she will be able to help on a more clinical level.
Brooke is also a busy mom to four children (Ciara, Phoenix, Brandt and Gage). Phoenix was born on the one-year anniversary of Brooke waking up from her medically induced coma.
“His name represents the fire I walked through to get him, the new life I now held.”
She is grateful for everyone who helped her on the path to recovery and looks forward to her new career providing assistance to others.
“When I was a firefighter, my favorite moments were those seconds when I got to an injured person, in the midst of the worst day of his or her life, and I told them I was there and I was going to help them. I want to do that for other burn survivors or those suffering from PTSD.”