PHOENIX — People realize their passions in all different ways. One Phoenix-area man realized he wanted to devote his life to fighting fires after undergoing a tragic accident as a kid.
“When I was 13-years-old, some friends came over and we decided, against our better judgement, to play with hair spray and a lighter,” said Jason Webb, a city of Glendale firefighter. “There was an explosion and my clothes caught on fire.”
As a result, Webb received second- and third-degree burns to more than 35 percent of his body. He spent 35 days in the burn unit, missed his entire 8th grade year and underwent about 20 surgeries over six years.
“It really changed my life,” Webb said.
But thanks to his family and a community of Arizona firefighters, Webb was able to recover in a positive way.
“I became involved with these different firefighter groups, [and] I was encouraged to learn more about it,” he said. “Coming on to the fire department a dozen or so years ago, I knew right away that this was something that I wanted to do.”
Today, Webb works at the Youth Firesetter Intervention Program for the city of Glendale, which teaches children the consequences that come from playing with fire.
Webb said his accident gave him an avenue to express the true dangers of not practicing fire safety techniques because of his “tangible experiences. I have scars to show them.”
While the accident has scarred him for life, it has also made him stronger, Webb said.
“Whatever your challenges are, they don’t have to define you,” he said. “We go through these challenges but we can still have great successes afterwards.”
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- Ex-reality TV star arrested in Phoenix for car theft, drugs
- ‘Deadliest Catch’ star Jacob Harris arrested in Phoenix for car theft, drug possession
- Club bouncer shot, Phoenix police search for suspect
- Gilbert rated best place to raise a family in Arizona
- Arizona’s Catalina Highway named one of America’s best spring drives