Burn training program released to U.S. fire departments

To Hell and Back II makes debut across the nation

INDIANAPOLIS — Last year, the To Hell and Back Burn Prevention Program was introduced at last year's Fire Department Instructor's Conference. This year, following demand from the fire community for a follow up, To Hell and Back II was released. According to a newswire release from the People's Burn Foundation, To Hell and Back II was delivered this week to 38,000 fire departments across the U.S. and features advanced 3-D graphics to tell the story of what went wrong in fireground operations when firefighters were burned or died from burn injuries.

The program was developed with volunteer and career fire service experts to teach basic situational awareness skills and, according to the foundation, is also endorsed by Deputy Fire Chief Billy Goldfeder of FireFighterCloseCalls.com.

According to the foundation's release, to Hell and Back I, the platform for phase two of the program, is already a mandatory training program for firefighter I and II level training in Arizona and is also used in training at the National Firefighter Academy. Other states are expected to follow.

"The potential this program has for saving lives among the ranks of our career and volunteer firefighters cannot be overstated," said Shawn Longerich, executive director of the People's Burn Foundation. "Despite all of the advances and improvements in firefighter protective gear and training techniques over the past decade, rising statistics indicate that firefighters continue to sustain burn injuries at record numbers."

Battalion Chief Tom DeMint of the Poudre Fire Authority in Fort Collins, Colo., and member of the To Hell and Back Development Team, said the Foundation's work in delivering this kind of program for firefighters will have lasting effects.

"These programs will have a positive impact promoting firefighter health and safety and has already saved firefighters' lives and prevented firefighter injuries," DeMint said. "This program effectively advances the message that 'Everyone Goes Home'."

This week, the People's Burn Foundation also launched a program similar to To Hell and Back but designed specifically for community awareness. To Hell and Back: Community Awareness is geared for adults and high school students and is the first of its kind offering "reality TV" on what happens to the skin when a burn injury occurs and the life-long impact of severe burn injuries.

For more information about local firefighter or community-based To Hell and Back programs, visit the People's Burn Foundation website at http://www.peoplesburnfoundation.org/.

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