A teenage California firefighter in training was severely burned in a tragic accident

A teenage California firefighter in training was severely burned in a tragic accident

A young firefighter-in-training, who dreams of working for the Pasadena Fire Department, survived a tragic dune buggy accident outside Las Vegas, but was left with severe burns to most of her body.

For 17-year-old America Salmeron, the story is about determination and perseverance. She has a long road to recovery ahead of her, and what those around her say she needs most now is support from the community she hopes to one day serve.

“America embodies everything the Pasadena Firefighter Explorer Program stands for,” Pasadena Fire Department Capt. Arno Avakian told KTLA. “She is a hard worker, has a positive attitude, and always wants to help others.”

The teen is also a leader in the department’s Explorer Program and was in the process of interviewing to become a sponsored student at Verdugo Fire Academy, but after the incident, her trip would take longer than she planned.

“In general, the situation I am currently experiencing is very difficult,” she explained from her hospital bed. “But overall, I’m just trying to move forward and stay positive.

A dune buggy accident occurred in Nevada last weekend when the vehicle overturned and caught fire. Salmeron was trapped in the burning wreckage but somehow managed to pull herself out from under the dune buggy and run before it exploded.

“I saw death before my eyes, and I didn’t know what to do, but I told myself if I don’t get myself out of here, no one will get out,” Salmeron said.

  • A 17-year-old teenage firefighter in training was severely burned during the incident
  • A 17-year-old teenage firefighter in training was severely burned during the incident

The 17-year-old girl suffered second- and third-degree burns to more than 51% of her body. Through a translator, her mother told KTLA that her daughter’s spirit is an inspiration.

“She asked me how she was going to make up for everything I do for her, and I told her, ‘You’re going to pay me back when you graduate and become a firefighter,’” Sarah Salmeron said. “I would be so proud. I want to see my daughter become a firefighter and I want her to say, ‘Mom, I did it. We’re bad asses.’

Capt. Avakian assured the teen that everyone was thinking of her, and that her support group was growing every day.

“We can’t wait for you to recover and get you home and see you through this,” he said.

Despite the journey ahead of her, Salmeron said she is more determined than ever to become a firefighter.

“When do you hear a female say, ‘Oh, I want to be a firefighter?'” It’s rare, right, because it’s a man’s job, and at least in my hometown, I don’t see a lot of women firefighters. “I wanted to be one,” the teen said. The few and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.'” “I see this situation as a test, a test that God put me through saying, ‘Do you want to join the fire service?’ Well, let me put you to the fire. Let me see if you still want to do this. “Look, I managed to escape and I still want to be a firefighter.”

Pasadena firefighters have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help Salmeron and her family cover the cost of her extensive medical treatment.

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