Firefighter and burn survivor raise awareness for importance of smoke alarms at home

Firefighter Luis Nevarez suffered severe burns after accidentally grabbing a 12,000 volt powerline. Now Nevarez is raising awareness for fire safety. (Kidde)

If there's anyone who knows the importance of proper fire safety, it's Luis Nevarez.

Nevarez is a firefighter from Tulare, CA, who was severely burned after accidentally grabbing a 12,000 volt power line. Nevarez underwent nine surgeries including multiple skin grafts to heal his burns, and was left without the lower half of his left arm. Yet even after his severe injuries, Nevarez made an incredible physical comeback, utilizing a state-of-the-art prosthesis to help him with his firefighting duties.

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"I'm ready to go and work with it and adapt to it and adapt as far as working out in the gym and with all the tools around the fire department," Nevarez told ABC30.

Now Nevarez is raising awareness of burned firefighters and the importance of fire safety with the help of Kidde Safety Products, the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, and Country Music star Chris Young. The announcement was made leading up to the 48th Annual CMA Awards airing tonight at 8:00 EST / 7:00 CST on ABC.

"In support of the campaign, Kidde will donate 1,000 Worry-Free sealed-battery smoke alarms to fire departments along Young's 2015 A.M. World Tour and contribute $25,000 to sponsor the Phoenix Society's SOAR program to support burned firefighters," Kidde wrote on their website.

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Nevarez hopes his story will help inspire other burn survivors.

"I was back on a fire truck 364 days after my accident," Nevarez said. "I was missing an arm, but my heart and my passion were there. As a Phoenix SOAR peer supporter, I want to inspire other burn survivors. I want someone to look at me and say, 'Because of you,I didn't give up!'"

Young too is very excited to be part of the program.

"One of my best friends recently became a firefighter and the risk they take really hits home. I'm glad to be part of a cause that will help support first responders and local communities along my tour," said Young.

The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering anyone affected by a burn injury through peer support, education, and advocacy. The organization's SOAR program connects those recently injured with burn survivors and family members who can support their recovery. Started in 2003 with funding from Kidde, the program is in 64 hospitals and burn centers.

Photo from the Phoenix World Burn Congress in 2014.

"The purpose of Phoenix SOAR is simple: No survivor of a burn injury should feel alone," said Amy Acton, executive director of Phoenix Societyanda burn survivor. "Every year, 40,000 people are hospitalized with burn injuries, but firefighters have uniquechallenges. This program will enable them to get support from peers who know firsthand what they've experienced."

The 48th CMA Awards will air tonight at 8:00 EST / 7:00 CST on ABC. You can learn more about Kidde Fire Safety and the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors at the links below.

Kidde Fire Safety
Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors
Related Topics:
societyfirefire safetycountry music awards

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