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Injured firefighter recovers with help of Evans-Haynes Burn Center

Fire Prevention Week takes place this year October 3-9. The Evans-Haynes Burn Center does its part by providing superior care to burn victims.

Bryan Bradley and his wife, Mandy Firefighter Bryan Bradley and his wife, Mandy, at the VCU Health Evans-Haynes Burn Center

By Danielle Pierce

Firefighters are on the front line every day — serving our communities, keeping us safe and protecting our families during fire emergencies. But when tragedy strikes and first responders need help, VCU Health’s Evans-Haynes Burn Center is the regional resource for excellent care, treatment and recovery.

“We have a great partnership with our local fire departments. In the unfortunate event that a firefighter is injured, they call us directly and let us know that one of their crew mates will be coming to us,” said Dr. Michael Feldman, director of the Evans-Haynes Burn Center.

“They know they’ll get the very best of care here. Our goals are usually the same as theirs, which is to get them healed as fast as possible and to get them back to what they love doing — protecting our community.”

And that is the goal for firefighter Bryan Bradley. After sustaining severe burns in a house fire, Bryan was treated at the Evans-Haynes Burn Center.

Bryan’s story

 

Bryan‘s crew, Engine 22, had just arrived at the scene of a house fire when they learned that there were children trapped upstairs. 

“When you hear that, your adrenaline gets going and you know what your mission is,” Bryan said.

When he began searching the house, he felt intense heat and a sensation on his hands that he had never experienced before. He swapped out his gloves for a new pair to continue his search.

“I went back upstairs, but this time I realized how much intense pain my hands were in and I knew something was wrong. I went outside and took off my gloves, and I noticed that half of my skin was missing and that I needed help.”

Bryan was rushed to the Evans-Haynes Burn Center, where he was met by the burn trauma team and his wife, Mandy, who is a VCU Health pediatric emergency department nurse.

“I'm really grateful that Richmond has VCU Health and the burn center because I was able to receive care within minutes of being injured,” Bryan said. “That’s not something that many around the state are able to experience, and for that I will always be grateful.”

What sets the Evans-Haynes Burn Center apart?

As the oldest civilian burn center in the United States, the Evans-Haynes Burn Center will celebrate 75 years of burn care excellence in 2022. It is the only burn center in Virginia verified not only once but three times by the American Burn Association.  This depth of experience is what sets the Evans-Haynes Burn Center apart.

“At Evans-Haynes Burn Center, we provide the best care with optimal outcomes. Our patients get everything they need right here under one roof — pain team, therapists, nursing staff, reconstructive and plastic surgeons, burn-specific anesthesia and doctors whose care and expertise complement each other,” Dr. Feldman said.  “I think that's part of what makes this burn center special —  we offer the full gamut of what our patients need.“

Bryan agrees. The firefighter credits Dr. Feldman, Dr. Mack Drake and the burn center nursing staff for his extensive recovery. “Everybody there just offered the best care that I could've imagined,” Bryan said.

“I don’t know what the next year will look like for me but I do know one thing —  once I have completely recovered, I absolutely plan to return to firefighting.”

Beyond patient care

In addition to providing the highest level of trauma and burn care for patients of all ages, the Evans-Haynes Burn Center is very involved in community outreach and providing fire prevention education for schools and adult care facilities.

The center also works closely with local firefighters and EMS to conduct firefighter health and safety courses.

“Firefighters put their lives on the line daily for others,” Dr. Feldman said. “We’re honored that we can help give firefighters like Bryan another opportunity to get back out there to help more people.”

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