Woman Injured: Fireworks Demonstration at Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Goes Bad in Mount Prospect

Not sure what category to file this report …

“Everything happens for a reason?”

Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”?

“No good deed goes unpunished?”

About 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 3, 2012 all three epigrams applied when a press conference and fireworks safety demonstration went awry in the rear parking lot of the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance office. The press conference started at 11:00 a.m. and brought major media together with The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance and the Cook County Department of Homeland Security. The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance is a reputable group of firefighters, fire administrators, medical experts, and safety-minded experts and citizens. They’re famous for their Burn Camp summer camp for burn victims, which is now referred to as Camp “I am Me”. If anyone knows about suffering from burns, its firefighters. And these dedicated individuals go beyond the call of duty to help kids that are burn victims.

The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance also knows safety. They work on fireworks legislation and warn citizens and consumers about fire safety issues.

About 11:30 a.m. a legal fireworks product was demonstrated. The directions from the manufacturer were followed, but a small fireball shot out the side directly at the media. The little fireball hit a staff member of an Illinois Fire Safety Alliance member who was wearing sandals, and received a burn. The burn was serious enough to require Mount Prospect firefighter/paramedics to respond to the scene, and transport the fireworks victim to Northwest Community Hospital. Mount Prospect firefighter/paramedics responded about 11:29 a.m. Tuesday to the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance in the 400 block of West Northwest Highway to a report of a fireworks injury.

Remember with fireworks, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Even professional fireworks launcher staff get seriously injured or even killed by the big fireworks. About 30 years ago a launcher at a professional Mount Prospect 4th of July show was injured when a rocket traveled up the inside of his forearm — splitting open his skin and causing severe burns. He arrived at Northwest Community Hospital in severe pain.

“Everything happens for a reason?” Unfortunately a woman was injured in the fire safety demonstration. Maybe the message will have a little more meaning this year. Safety first, when it comes to fireworks. Watch out for exposed skin and eyes near fireworks and firecrackers. If you can be injured by the legal products, you should stay away from the illegal products, and maybe leave the fireworks up to professionals over 100 yards away.

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