I was reminded today of the power of one voice.
Having already endured four decades of surgeries related to burns he sustained during a home fire in 1971, firefighter Phil Tammaro was back in the hospital this month. He acquired an infection on his left leg, which was significantly burned in the fire, and had to be admitted to a Boston-based hospital for recent treatment. This is the reality of a burn survivor, he said during our joint presentation to NFPA staff this week. While he doesn't let his burns define him, they are his grim reminder of the atrocities initiated by fire. Having Tammaro share his evolution from burn survivor to fire sprinkler advocate firsthand has a poignancy like none other.
Like the others profiled before him, Tammaro uses his voice as one of NFPA's Faces of Fire, a component of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative meant to humanize the home fire problem. I could have easily presented on this campaign to NFPA, but having Phil present brought the campaign to life. The audience witnessed graphic images of a two-year-old Tammaro wrapped in bandages. They heard about the necessary procedures--skin grafting being one of them--he had to endure. They gasped and sighed at how a young Tammaro mistakenly knocked over a gasoline canister--and the aftermath of when the gas found an ignition source.
Tammaro and the rest of our Faces of Fire can be your most effective tools in convincing your community, legislators, and code-making bodies that home fire sprinklers have the power to reduce these horror stories. We now have close to 30 people who have shared their story for this campaign. All of them come from different walks of life. All have diverse backgrounds. All share the opinion that home fire sprinklers were responsible for saving their lives or could have prevented horrific outcomes.
Peruse the list of profiles and videos we have created for this campaign. Get acquainted with these fine folks. Share their videos. If you would like them present at a local event, please let us know. Let's showcase the power one voice can have in promoting this important cause.