UMC doctor stresses importance of firework safety during July 4th festivities

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They make you smile, but one wrong move and fireworks can change your life forever.

“The flames were going up into the trees and it was getting bigger each second,” said Vicki Gutierrez,  resident.   

“It’s not very often I come outside and see the front of the house on fire,” said Larry Ashton, resident. 

From house fires to missing limbs, to even losing your life there’s a warning for those who use fireworks to be careful this 4th of July holiday.

According to medical experts, Independence Day is the busiest day of the year for emergency calls.  Police and fire agencies expect thousands of calls this week.

“Fireworks are explosives,” said Doctor Jesse Wells, a physician at University Medical Center.  “So, they’re explosives that create light and are very interesting. But, again, they’re explosives.”

Fireworks are destructive and potentially deadly. 

“The most devastating injuries are eye injuries, where a firework goes off, and it penetrates and causes an injury to the eye, causing blindness, plus a burn to the face,” Dr. Wells said.

Casandra Bosse said she almost lost her hand years ago when she was injured by an illegal firework. 

“My whole wrist was shattered,” said Bosse.  “My whole skin was burned through so you could see tendons. Sorry,” she said as she got emotional.

Bosse was shooting off mortars with her friends to celebrate the holiday.
Bosse had to get a half-dozen surgeries and multiple skin grafts. 

Doctors say firework users should always take precaution: Meaning, don’t drink and set fire to fireworks.

“Have somebody sober manage all the fireworks for the party,” Dr. Wells said.  “Don’t drink and light fireworks at the same time and of course if a firework doesn’t go off, douse it with water. Don’t try to restart it or re-light it. Try to stay as far away from it as you can.”

Clark County has set up a website to report illegal firework activity. Go here for more information.

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