Luis Nevarez, a firefighter, went to work on a routine call about a downed power line; his experience that day turned out to be anything but routine.
Captain Oscar Barrera was a long-time firefighter; after struggling through burn recovery alone, he came to realize that he needed help.
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!
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.
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.
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