Firefighter L.C. (my husband) was burned on April 26, 2005 by accidentally
tripping into a campfire. He suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his arm and back. FF L.C. knows about
fire safety . Besides being a firefighter for more than 20 years, he is also a Learn Not to Burn Safety Instructor.
He seems the most unlikely to have had such an accident. The point here is that EVERYONE needs to take heed and be safe
around campfires and bonfires. Below is the burn and recovery story.
FF L.C. was on an annual fishing trip with some of his fellow firefighting
brothers. After the midnight hour, he was outside alone. The campfire was in need of some more fuel - wood that
is - NEVER, EVER put lighter fluid, gasoline or other chemicals on a fire. He decided to get some more wood to last
through the night as he is a known night owl. Larry stacked up the firewood so high in his arms that he blocked
his vision thereby not having a good view of the campfire or the surroundings. Unfortunately since he was
unable to see, he tripped over another pile of firewood that had been piled up too close to the fire ring. FF L.C. began
to fall just as one of his brothers was coming out of the cabin. Thankfully FF L.C. has his senses about him as he was
falling forwards. He knew he needed to protect his hands and face so he twisted his body during the fall. He landed
into the fire on his back and right side. Thank God the fire was low although the hot coals still caught his sweatshirt on
fire. After getting off the coals, FF L.C. stopped, dropped and rolled to extinquish the fire with the help of his brother.
Coals were embedded into his back. He was rushed to the local ER. FF L.C. suffered 2nd degree burns to his right
arm and 2nd to mostly 3rd degree burns to his back. The hot coals were removed, the burn site was cleaned and generously covered
with a common sulfa cream used for severe burns and the wounds were dressed. FF L.C. was given morphine for the
pain. Because most of his burns were third degree, his pain was not as you would expect because he damaged his nerve
endings. FF L.C. decided to stay on the fishing trip although he mostly slept the rest of his stay.
His brother FF helped him take care of the burn area as instructed by the ER by cleaning the wound twice a
day as dead skin slothed off, generously covering the burns with the sulfa cream and changing the dressing. Three
days later upon his return home, his FF L.C.'s pain began to intensify and for the first time he choose to take a percocet
that was prescribed to him by the ER. Later than afternoon, we went to his Dr. for a follow-up visit. After evaluating
FF L.C.'s burns, his Dr. believed he would need a skin graft on his back. Unfortunatley since it was past 5 p.m.,
we had to wait (or so we thought) to get our appointment with the University Hospital burn clinic. The Dr. was going
to try to get my husband into Shriners Burn Institute in Cincinnati believing they sometimes accepted adult patients.
The next day we were given the bad news that the burn clinic was only open once a week on Wednesdays and was not
able to see Larry until May 18th ---- 19 days away. Shriners never takes adult cases. FF L.C.'s pain was getting
worse with each passing day as his nerve endings were beginning to heal and grow. Of course, I did what any wife would
do and picked up the phone to push to get him in much sooner. University Hospital Burn Unit in Cincinnati
(513-584-8199) was AWESOME! We were put in touch Susan Hatfield, PA-C who informed us that the unit at
the hospital accepted acute walk-ins everyday. The day was over so she gave me her pager to call her any time for
any reason for the weekend and scheduled an appointment for FF L.C. for first thing Monday morning. Of course we knew
we could go to the ER anytime. She advised us that if the pain became too unbearable for LC and if it was possible for
Larry to go a little further than the closest ER to come to University because they were ABA (American Burn Association) certified.
TO BE CONTINUED........including pictures...