Austin Palmiere is aware of the dangers of the job. A hearth captain with CAL FIRE, he’s served on the entrance line for 14 years.

However on Oct. 9, 2022, whereas on the Placerville Fireplace Middle between calls, his shift was something however routine. The corporate automobile he was engaged on caught hearth. He and a fellow firefighter rushed to place out the blaze, when an explosion knocked them to the bottom. They had been rushed to the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Unit at UC Davis.

“On the time I didn’t really feel a ton of ache due to the shock and adrenaline. I didn’t assume I used to be even burned that dangerous,” Palmiere mentioned. “It was surreal arriving on the UC Davis ER, as a result of I’ve dropped off sufferers in that room.”

32-year-old Palmiere had second- and third-degree burns on 26% of his face, arms and higher physique. He confronted weeks of restoration. He says three issues motivated him: assist from his household, mates and firefighters; the experience of the burn middle staff at UC Davis Well being; and the anticipated arrival of his first son along with his spouse Lainey, roughly one month away.

“I used to be 35 weeks pregnant when he was admitted,” she recalled. “It was very chaotic. It was nuts. However I simply centered on staying calm and ensuring everybody was wholesome.”

Burns can have an effect on anybody, anyplace, at any time

Yearly, greater than 450,000 critical burn accidents happen in the USA that require medical therapy. Every day greater than 300 youngsters are taken to emergency rooms across the nation for burn accidents — and two youngsters die day by day from extreme burns.

This trauma can have an effect on anybody, anyplace, at any time.

For burn care suppliers, the therapy challenges vary from acute and important care administration to long-term care and rehabilitat

“The largest problem is completely different for every particular person,” mentioned Tina Palmieri, chief burn surgeon. “Assist is crucial to restoration after burn harm. Burn survivor long-term bodily and psychological outcomes are linked to the quantity and high quality of assist that they obtain. This consists of assist whereas within the hospital and much more importantly after they’ve left the hospital and returned to the neighborhood.”

Surgeons like Palmieri should decide the scale and depth of burn accidents, which guides their course of therapy. The bodily and psychological scarring from burn accidents causes ache, impacts psychological well being, and might decide high quality of life and one’s capability to return to work. Different members of the American Burn Affiliation-verified burn middle staff assist with what is just not seen — the depth of emotional trauma.

“It’s invaluable to have burn survivors and their households meet different burn survivors, share related experiences and construct a assist staff,” mentioned Registered Nurse Lauren Spink. She is the burn outreach coordinator for UC Davis Well being, a Phoenix Society SOAR-designated facility. “You will need to let our burn survivors know they don’t seem to be alone and have a protected place the place they’ll meet weekly to assist of their emotional restoration.”

A long-lasting tribute to the UC Davis Well being staff

UC Davis Well being admitted 565 individuals who suffered burn accidents in 2022, a 15-20% enhance from the yr earlier than. Amongst them was CAL-FIRE’s Austin Palmiere.

“It modifications the way in which I take a look at burn sufferers now,” he mentioned. “I’ll higher perceive and assist that particular person as a result of I do know what goes on after we drop them off.

Palmiere had two surgical procedures. He started strolling independently three weeks after his harm. Lastly, he left the burn intensive care unit 35 days after his arrival — one week earlier than child Colt’s arrival.

“Now, he’s holding him, rocking him and doing a bunch of issues that weren’t possible the day Austin got here house. I’m so grateful,” Lainey Palmiere mentioned.

“I took my time getting right here, however I’m altering diapers now,” Austin Palmiere added.

Diapers that belong to Colt Davis Palmiere, whose center identify is a tribute to the staff that introduced his father via the worst trauma of his life.

Feb. 5-11 is Nationwide Burn Consciousness Week, a time for educators to share burn and prevention messages of their communities and spotlight the commonest accidents. This yr’s theme is “Sizzling Liquids Burn Like Fireplace” and the info of accidents every year within the U.S. backs that up:

  • 41% are flame burns
  • 31% are scalds and most burns in youngsters lower than 5
  • 6% are electrical burns
  • 5% are chemical burns


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