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UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
For Journalists
Telephone: 412-586-9762
Communications Specialist II
Telephone: 412-647-6190

UPMC Mercy Holds Summer Safety Press Conference, Donates Safety Items

Patients, Physician, Public Safety Officers Share Stories and Tips to Keep Summer Fun

WHAT: Panel-style press conference with several patients who sustained burns from three different types of fire—house fire, grease fire and bonfire—their physician and Pittsburgh public safety officers to offer tips for a safe summer.
House fires don't have a season. The danger is real and present throughout the year. In an effort to prevent such a tragedy, the UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Centers will be presenting 100 smoke detectors to the City of Pittsburgh Fire Department for distribution to city residents.
In addition, burn safety items that UPMC Mercy is donating to EMS agencies will be on display, including glow sticks instead of sparklers for July 4th celebrations, oven mitts for cooking and barbeque burn prevention and water temperature “duckies” to prevent scald injuries in children. City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Emergency Medical Services representatives will accept the donations for distribution to local residents.
WHY: Summer is the time to have fun outside, but many times outdoor fun can be filled with dangers. The UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Centers, in association with the UPMC Office of Prehospital Services, want to get the word out with summertime injury prevention tips.
• Jenny Ziembicki, M.D., medical director, UPMC Mercy Burn Center
• City of Pittsburgh Fire Department representative
• City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Emergency Medical Services representative
• Three patients will share their stories:
Mary Arnold is a 55-year-old woman who sustained burns to her face, chest, right upper arm and both legs when her clothes caught on fire after an accelerant was thrown onto a campfire. She spent a total of 44 days in the hospital, with 30 of those days in the intensive care unit, and underwent multiple surgical procedures for her burn wounds.
Diane Koerbel is a 61-year-old woman who was involved in a house fire in which she sustained burns to her neck, back and both upper arms as well as a spinal fracture when she jumped from her burning home. After treatment for her burn injuries, Diane also required a comprehensive rehabilitation program, spending almost three weeks in the hospital.
Gretchen McDaniel was 30 years old when she sustained second and third degree burns to her face, hands, both legs and feet in 2010. Her injuries were the result of a grease fire in her kitchen. While trying to move the skillet of grease outside, she dropped it on herself causing her burn injury and subsequently catching the house on fire.
In 2015, Gretchen underwent training to become a burn peer supporter for the Phoenix Society’s SOAR program at UPMC Mercy and continues to share her story and inspires other patients who have sustained burn injury.
WHEN: 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 28
WHERE: UPMC Mercy; Sister M. Ferdinand Clark Auditorium, 2nd Floor; 1400 Locust St., Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Note to Media: There will be parking available on the main driveway. A media relations representative will meet you there and escort you to press conference location. Please plan to arrive by 9:45 a.m.

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