James Johnson, MD, Featured in National Burn Awareness Campaign

February 6th through 12th was National Burn Awareness Week. This year, Hillcrest Medical Center partnered with the National Gasoline Safety Project to spread the word to
every parent: Gas and Fire Never Mix. The goal of the National Gasoline Safety Project is to stop gas fires in every community. Data is scarce, but it is estimated that 1,500 children are injured or killed in gasoline fires each year. For survivors, the consequences of gas burns can be severe and lifelong.

James Johnson, MD, a general surgeon and burn specialist who works in Hillcrest Medical Center’s Alexander Burn Center, knows how serious the effects of a burn can be
– and that it can happen without a moment’s notice. He hopes that by educating the community about the dangers of mixing gasoline and fire, he can help stop preventable burns. Dr. Johnson will be featured on one of six hangtag designs sponsored by the National Gasoline Safety Program. The hangtags will be placed on every new gas can sold in the United States. He is also featured on one of two bill stuffer designs, which are also available nationwide.

Both the hangtag and the bill stuffer come with a warning and a plea from Johnson: “There is no safe way to start a fire with gasoline,” Johnson says. “My specialty is grafting burned skin. I wish parents would put me out of a job.” “The truth is, most parents don’t mix gas and fire. They know it isn’t safe. But still some do, and put themselves and their children at risk,” said Amanda Emerson of the National Gasoline Safety Project. “Ironically, our research shows even parents who use gasoline to start fires know it isn’t a safe thing to do. But they think it’s something ‘everyone’ does. It’s not. And it needlessly puts children in harm’s way.”

Hillcrest Medical Center’s Alexander Burn Center was the state’s first burn center and has served as a regional burn center since 1968. As one of the most progressive burn centers in the country in the areas of wound care, nutrition and pain management, the Alexander Burn Center offers comprehensive treatment of minor to catastrophic burns. The Center includes an intensive care unit as well as a rapid-recovery unit, for non-life-threatening burns.

To learn more about the National Gasoline Safety Project, please visit www.stopgasfires.org.