2014 Hickey Award
Oscar Barrera - 2014 Joe Hickey Fire Service Award Recipient
The Joe Hickey Fire Service Award honors a firefighter or firefighter burn foundation who provides assistance to burn survivors, demonstrates a commitment to improve burn care through all phases of recovery, and works to carry on the mission of the Society and the local burn community. This year’s recipient is Oscar Barrera.
Oscar was a captain in the Stockton (California) Fire Department when he was severely injured while fighting a house fire in 1997. Shortly after his release from the Dameron Hospital burn unit, Oscar got involved in the burn community, initially through the Fire Fighters Burn Institute (FFBI). He has volunteered nearly every year since then for the children’s burn camp it sponsors.
Although he looked forward to being able to spend more time with his wife once he retired, Oscar knew he had a calling to do something more, and his involvement with kids in the burn community eventually led to his current work with adult survivors.
Oscar, who continues to serve on the FFBI advisory board, became a Phoenix SOAR peer supporter, as has his wife Jeannine, and provides assistance whenever requested. He also represents the IAFF on the ABA’s Aftercare Reintegration Committee and has assisted with planning and implementing firefighter programming for Phoenix World Burn Congress.
Oscar was also the key influence in the development by the FFBI of the Liaison Response Team program in Sacramento to assist hospitals, firefighters, and firefighter families after a line-of-duty injury occurs, and he continues to participate in a very active way. He is certainly following the late firefighter Joe Hickey’s philosophy of placing the wellbeing of burn survivors, above all, as his top priority.