Firefighters Burn Institute
The Firefighters Burn Institute is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded by Sacramento Fire Captain Cliff Haskell and the Sacramento Area Fire Fighters, Local 522 in 1973 for the purpose of establishing a local burn treatment facility; providing recovery programs for burn survivors; promoting fire and burn prevention through public education; funding education for medical burn team professionals, firefighters, and burn survivors; and supporting burn treatment and rehabilitation research.
Is a special summer camp for young burn survivors ages 7 to 17 years old. The week long camp provides a fun and safe outdoor environment that encourages healing, personal growth and character development. Interacting with other children who have had common experiences and challenges helps these young burn survivors realize that they are not alone.
1. Camper Surveys: By surveying campers, we teach campers that their thoughts and ideas can positively affect the camp they attend. We are able to empower and build confidence in our campers to share their voices at camp and back home. This feedback also helps us implement age-specific programming to better meet the social and emotional needs of our campers.
2. Crisis Intervention Team: Many young burn survivors come to camp hoping to find resources for various social and emotional struggles in their lives. Campers who act out at camp are able to share their insecurities with professionals and find the help they need. The result is a healthier and safer camp for all campers and staff.
3. Camp Facility Change: In 2015, we moved our camp from a rustic camp in Tahoe to the fully ADA compliant, Camp Arroyo in Livermore, CA. The new facilities at Camp Arroyo allow us to accommodate young burn survivors in wheelchairs and future burn survivors with any other special needs.
Little Heroes Preschool Burn Camp is a model burn recovery program designed for little burn survivors ages three to six years old and their families. This unique three-day program helps children, along with their families, to understand and cope with physical and emotional challenges associated with burn recovery. Our program includes physical therapy, social and skill-building activities for preschool children who have suffered severe burns, while also providing on-site education, counseling and support for the child's caregiver(s). This rare camp provides specialized therapeutic components to help the family unit move forward and thrive through the trauma of a burn injury.
- Music Therapy: Starting in 2014, a professional music therapy group was invited to work with the three to six year old burn survivor group. Music therapy has allowed us to foster bonding and group unity in a very short time. This transformation creates a bridge to the rest of the weekend's program which focuses on social skills and rehearsing responses to burn trauma.
- Family Activities: Activities were strategically placed in the middle of the camp weekend to break up the hours of classroom instruction and provide an opportunity for the skills learned throughout the week to be applied in a natural setting.
- Spanish Interpreter Services: Spanish services opened our program to Spanish-speaking families. A professional interpreting team translates English to Spanish in tandem with the lessons are being taught at camp. This program change has allowed us to reach an underserved Spanish community.
Provides the unique opportunity for adults and families who have been affected by the pain, disfigurement, and life changes resulting from a serious burn injury to meet with others who have gone through a similar experience. This program provides a forum to encourage healing from the inside out, learning to cope with grief, anger and emotions, overcoming fears and building confidence, and providing a safe environment for discussing intimate relationships, sexuality, and the trauma of a severe burn injury.
- In the last three years of the Adult Burn Survivor Recovery Retreat, we have seen many burn survivors benefit from our program both physically and mentally. Being around others who have gone through a similar tragedy in their life and being able to relate to one another has a very positive impact on those who participate in our program. The retreat is not only an outlet for support and healing, but for some survivors, the retreat is the first step for them to venture out of their safety zone since leaving the hospital. That in and of itself is a huge success.
- Recovery sessions led by burn survivors and medical professionals offer a wonderful opportunity for growth while meeting others who have gone through similar experiences to build a network of support. While lifetime friendships and bonds are formed our retreat helps burn survivors to understand they are not alone in their recovery and there is a support system to help them go "beyond surviving" their burn injuries.
The FFBI Response Team is made up of firefighters whose mission is to provide assistance to firefighters, their families and their department in the aftermath of a burn injury. Response Team members are dedicated to the well-being and recovery of their fellow brother and sister firefighters and understand the importance of help and emotional support during critical times. The Response Team also ensures the firefighter's family is taken care of through meals, housing, or by making other special arrangements. The Firefighters Burn Institute provides resources to also assist with post recovery including PTSD treatment, peer support groups and funding to send the firefighter to burn survivor support conferences.
- In 2014, we had a firefighter admitted to the burn unit for serious burn injuries. After being discharged he became involved with FFBI and we were able to provide him a full scholarship to World Burn Congress; a conference where burn survivors come together to offer support, increase their knowledge of burn recovery, and share inspiring stories.
- In 2015, we had a firefighter severely burned while fighting a house fire. After being discharged from the burn unit we were able to provide the firefighter with resources to assist with post recovery including PTSD treatment and peer support. He is now well on his way to a full recovery not only physically but also mentally.
- In 2015, we had a firefighter severely burned while on duty. We assisted the firefighter & his family while he was in the burn unit. After being released from the burn unit the firefighter became a counselor at our Firefighters Kids Camp where he is now able to help young burn survivors on their path to recovery.
An intervention program for youth who exhibit a tendency to misuse fire. This program is comprised of fire, probation, burn and healthcare professionals who provide a coordinated effort in helping youth firesetters and their families receive the assistance they need through assessments, psychological referrals, and education. This program teaches families safe and responsible behaviors related to fire use in the home as well as the financial, emotional, and social consequences of firesetting.
- The Firefighters Burn Institute took over the Youth Firesetter Program just three years ago.
- Since that time, we are gaining more referrals and more youth have been attending the Fire Safety Academy. More youth referrals, in our eyes, is a positive impact in that we know that our program is reaching more people and fire misuse is being uncovered to a greater extent.
- In 2012, 15 youth attended the academies and in 2015 there were 43.
- Since 2013, when FFBI stepped in,113 youth have attended the academy with 85 of those being firesetters. The remaining 27 are siblings and at the academy it is often uncovered that some of the siblings have been setting fires as well.
- Of the 86 youth firesetters who have attended our academy 78 have successfully passed.
- Those who did not pass failed to complete their homework, misbehaved, and distracted others or missed a day of the academy. However, these youth are given the opportunity to come back a second time.
- Three of the eight who did not pass have returned to the academy and successfully completed the program.
- Another big success is getting fire departments that have fallen out of the program for various reasons back on board. The ultimate change that we hope to gain from our program is the elimination of future firesetting by youth.
- Youth firesetting is an issue that affects more than just the youth. Every year in the United States, hundreds of people die, thousands are injured, and millions of dollars are lost in direct property damage from children's misuse of fire. Without intervention youth who experiment with fire once are five times more likely to misuse fire again. We are the intervention program that steps into help to try and bring those numbers down.