East Fork firefighter-paramedic recovering from hay truck fire
An East Fork firefighter-paramedic is recovering at home after he was hospitalized from an injury from an April 9 hay truck fire.
The firefighter was taken to the University of California, Davis Firefighter Burn Center with a circumferential burn to his leg.
Firefighters responded to the 4 a.m. truck fire on Highway 88 in front of Douglas High School. The firefighter suffered a burn and after transport and treatment at Carson Valley Medical Center was transferred to the burn unit.
District Chief Tod Carlini said that firefighting is a dangerous job.
“I actually felt a bit overwhelmed with this circumstance knowing that we were having to send an employee to a burn center out of state,” Carlini said.
The UC Davis burn center is the closest facility of its type for East Fork Fire Protection District and other Northern Nevada agencies and communities.
“Burn injuries are always serious and being able to access the professional care that is provided by a specialized burn center is critical to a successful recovery, both physically and mentally,” Carlini said.
Carlini said he was concerned about the firefighters’s family who would be three hours away from home.
Several East Fork personnel were ready to help, but Firefighters Burn Institute came to the rescue.
The institute is a nonprofit organization founded by Sacramento Fire Capt. Cliff Haskell and the Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Local 522 in 1973.
It established a burn treatment facility that provides recovery programs for burn survivors, fire and burn preventions through public education, funding education for burn team professionals, firefighters, and burn survivors and supporting burn treatment and rehabilitation research.
“They contacted us at 7 a.m. and stated that they were ready to help,” Carlini said.
The group is composed of both current and retired firefighters and burn care medical professionals at all levels.
“They are very well organized and managed,” Carlini said. “Once they stepped in, my concerns over how things would be managed were alleviated.”
The Institute’s Executive Director Mike Daw was in contact with the assigned East Fork liaisons on a regular basis and he and his team were with the injured firefighter and his family as soon as he arrived at the burn center.
“This foundation is remarkable in terms of the support that they provided, the care and advocacy that they represent, and with the effort they put forth,” Carlini said after a 90-minute phone call with Daw. “I couldn’t thank Mike and his team enough. As an organization, I am so thankful that they reached out to us, our firefighters and their families.”
The Firefighters Burn Institute offers a variety of programs for burn survivors and firefighters.
Burn injuries frequently require a lifetime of rehabilitation and medical treatment.
“Firefighters and emergency medical workers are usually the first to respond to the scene when a burn injury occurs,” he said. “Proper pre-hospital burn care is essential to the proper treatment of burns and the Firefighters Burn Institute has made it a goal to make sure that first responders get the necessary education on how to treat burns in the field.”
Too learn more, visit ffburn.org.