Two points caught my eye in a recent article about the ongoing fires in Florida.
First, “Man Saves Rhino” is not an article topic one usually expects in the world of wildfire. Yet, it’s what occurred when the owner of a wild life preserve went back to help firefighters evacuate a rhino from its pen as the flame front turned and embers flew through the air.
Second, the article sets the imagery of what being caught in a wildfire looks like, and graphically, what it feels like. The preserve owner received 2nd degree burns on exposed skin over 18% of his body and explains in his own words, how he managed.
I use the word “graphically” to express the article’s approach and not to stigmatize or sensationalize what burn victims grow through. Massive burns can incite shock in the public eye but groups like NFPA and the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors show the strength of burn survivors and importantly, share their stories of perseverance and their safety lessons for us all.
There are many resources to help advance understanding and support for burn victims and safety.
The Phoenix Society provides burn survivors and their families with resources and programs to help. Their annual Phoenix World Burn Congress shares education and connects peers along the “journey of burn recovery.”
The Phoenix Society’s Executive Director, Amy Action gave a recent presentation on, “The Human Impacts of Fire” that address burn victims and safety education.
NFPA also works with the Phoenix Society on advocacy around sprinklers as well as other issues like electrical fires. The NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative shares its Faces of Fire campaign and NFPA promotes burn awareness through various risk and age-based resources.
I encourage you to learn more and to support those effected by fires of all kinds. Even Rhino.
Photo Credit: Raquel Landry, Wildfire burn victim Donovan Smith: 'It was like Armageddon', Eric Staats. USAToday. Published 25Aprill17. Photo pulled 27April17