Common Voices, an advocates’ coalition determined to create a Fire Safe America, released a series of six new Public Service Announcements (PSA) that tell the stories of women who have lost family members in fires and explain the need for fire sprinklers in homes. Each PSA has a personal message from Common Voices advocates. Here are a few of their stories.
Bonnie Woodruff tells the story of her son bringing home a turtle when he was a child. She tells viewers that the turtle is still alive while her son is not. He died in a fraternity house fire on Mother’s Day. She describes it as a senseless death that could have been prevented with fire sprinklers. Woodruff highlights her current efforts as an advocate challenging those who work to defeat code requirements that include fire sprinklers.
Justina Page, who lost her son in a house fire and who is a burn survivor shows her emotion as she gazes out a window, watching neighborhood children playing and discussing how she will never again be able to see her son play outside. Her direct plea to the viewer to install fire sprinklers and her genuine account of “if I had only known…” makes the issue and solution obvious and simple.
Amy Acton, executive director of The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, reminds viewers that fire does not discriminate. “It happens to the rich, it happens to the poor, it could happen to you,” she says. Acton who is also a burn survivor, notes that many times we focus only on those who die, forgetting the impact to society and to the survivors themselves. Burn injuries occur every 57 minutes, and are a significant part of our nation’s fire problem.
The complete media kit, which is free thanks to the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Act fire prevention grant, is available by visiting www.fireadvocates.org