Kidde Fire Safety joined country music stars Chris Young and Kix Brooks and fire service leaders to offer their support to new campaigns that will help protect families and assist burn-injured firefighters. Kidde, a leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products, is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
Kidde will donate 2,000 Worry-Free sealed-battery smoke alarms to fire departments in select cities along Young’s 2015 A.M. World Tour and will contribute $25,000 to sponsor Phoenix Society’s new Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery (SOAR) program to support burned firefighters. Every year, approximately 100 firefighters die in the line of duty and thousands are injured. Knowing simple safety steps, such as replacing outdated smoke alarms and having an escape plan, can help families stay safer and help protect first responders. Kidde Worry-Free smoke alarms contain a sealed-in battery that lasts 10 years, the recommended life of a smoke alarm.
“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 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 operates in 64 hospitals and burn centers across the country.
In 2013, the nonprofit organization partnered with the International Association of Firefighters Charitable Foundation and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) to develop a version of Phoenix SOAR for burn-injured firefighters. Kidde is the new program’s inaugural sponsor.
“The purpose of Phoenix SOAR is simple: No survivor of a burn injury should feel alone,” said Amy Acton, executive director of Phoenix Society and a burn survivor. “Every year, 40,000 people are hospitalized with burn injuries, but firefighters have unique challenges. This program will enable them to get support from peers who know firsthand what they’ve experienced.”
Luis Nevarez, burn survivor and Tulare Fire Department (California) division chief, shared his experience at today’s event. Nevarez lost his left forearm to an electrical burn in 2002.
“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!’”
Wednesday’s announcement at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum follows the launch of Kidde’s “Spotlight on Fire Safety” ad campaign featuring Chris Young and the Nashville Fire Department. The commercials will air during tonight’s broadcast of “The 48th Annual CMA Awards” on ABC TV stations in New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Houston; Raleigh, North Carolina; Fresno, Calif. and Nashville. This is Kidde’s third year as a local sponsor.
“Kidde is committed to making products that help save lives and empowering families to take steps that will help keep them safe. Those steps also protect firefighters,” said Chris Rovenstine, vice president of marketing, Kidde. “We’re excited to expand our support of the Phoenix Society’s SOAR program and work with Chris Young to help communicate the importance of working smoke alarms.”
Kix Brooks, the 2013 CMA National Broadcast Personality of the Year and a radio spokesman for Kidde; Chief Ronald Siarnicki, executive director of NFFF; Tennessee State Fire Marshal Gary West; and National Association of State Fire Marshals President Butch Browning also attended. To learn more, visit www.kidde.com.
Photo Credit: Sanford Myers