Fireworks, Chaos, & Third Degree Burns

How a Costa Vida Businessman Saved The 4th of July

Jorge Garcia
Do you want to know what’s better than horchata and quesadillas at Costa Vida and sleeping in on a Monday all wrapped up in a burrito and covered in cheese?

The day we celebrate every year to let everyone know who was, is, and always will be the boss: the 4th of freakin’ July!

Hop in your DeLorean, mash the pedal until you hit 88 mph and take a trip down memory lane with us to a 4th of July Jorge Garcia will never forget.

It started as a 4th of July like any other. The air was warm and the smell of barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers was in the air. Costa Vida’s Franchise Business Consultant, Jorge Garcia, was celebrating Independence Day at the crowded Kiwanis Park in Provo, Utah. The park was jam-packed full of freedom loving Americans enjoying a beautiful summer day with their families. “That year it was really crowded and people were doing some pretty big fireworks” Garcia recounts.

(Mom Said) Nothing Good Happens After Dark

As the sun was setting, the Independence Day revelers started setting off fireworks they had brought to the celebration. While the crowd was enjoying the pyrotechnical display, disaster struck. “One of the aerial fireworks tipped over and started firing off into the crowd.” As the fireworks fired indiscriminately in all directions, joy turned to fear and the massive crowd began to panic.

“People were running, yelling, grabbing their kids, and trying to get to safety. Fireworks were falling on top of and even exploding underneath cars! It was pure chaos. The fireworks were going off with people all around them, spinning and shooting in every direction.

As the crowds in the park began to disperse, Jorge could see there was still a large commotion at the pavilion and he instinctively ran in towards the action hoping to find a way to help.


The smell of hotdogs and hamburgers in the air was gone, replaced by the smell of gunpowder, but Jorge wasn’t deterred. As the crowds of people fled, he ran towards the danger to what looked like the scene of an injury to see how he could help.

“A few people were hit, but one lady was badly hurt. She was hit on the side of her head right above her ear and the firework exploded when it hit her.”

A group of good Samaritans had taken the injured woman to the park’s well-lit gazebo to tend to her injuries. As they calmed her they realized there was no First Aid Kit or medical supplies in sight. Jorge knew this was a moment he had prepared for.


Stay safe at this year's celebrations.

Here's some info we gathered about the 4th of July.


Instincts, Preparation, and Training Pay Off

Instinctively, Jorge ran straight to his car to grab his MyMedic First Aid Kit assembled in a backpack. “I knew where everything was and I added what I felt was needed.” When Jorge got back with his MyMedic First Aid supplies, he saw that other people had begun to take care of her. Someone was checking her vitals and another person was calling 911.

“It was crazy! I walked up with the bag, dumped it on the ground and everyone moved out of the way. Dumping out a kit like that demands attention and everyone just immediately moved out of the way and made room.”

Jorge was confident that he had the skills and the tools to help this injured woman in her time of need. 


Jorge Garcia the hero

The Burn Was Third Degree

After the woman was stabilized, Jorge took action.

“The first thing I used was the saline solution. I cleaned her so that we could look and see what was going on. The burn was third degree. It was charred, black and white and she had no hair on the side of her head.

The situation was tense and scary for the crowd that had gathered, and especially for the burned woman, but Jorge remained calm. “People were mad, the chaos was pretty intense.” While some people were angry and yelling, others focused on helping the injured woman.

“An older gentleman kept holding her hand and feeling her vitals. He had experience and was an EMT, but he wasn’t prepared; he didn’t have anything with him.”

After cleaning the wound with saline solution, Jorge applied the Water Jel Burn Dressing and helped to keep the woman calm for five to eight minutes until the ambulance arrived. Eight minutes may not sound like a long time, but when your face is charred and an out-of-control firework has burned half of your hair off, eight minutes can feel like an eternity. Help can come from anyone, even a stranger in the crowd. “I felt grateful for the experience of being there to help in that moment.

Anyone Can Be a Hero

Jorge’s career is centered around Costa Vida as their Franchise Business Consultant in the Southwest, but he is also trained and prepared to save a life. When Jorge was a teenager, he was the first one on the scene of a horrible car crash involving his friend. The experience of finding his friend in terrible condition, then riding in a police car, feeling fear and uncertainty while hearing the EMS calls coming over the police radio had a powerful impact on Jorge. He was driven to train and become proficient in First Aid techniques and procedures so he could be prepared if ever again he were to find someone in need. “I was scared, I was freaking out, and I relived that for many years because of the trauma and everything that happened.” Motivated by his past experiences, Jorge began to study First Aid.

Bystander Becomes a Hero


Know What You Have & Know How to Use It 

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be a medical professional to save a life, but you do have to have the right training and the right tools.

“There are different First Aid Kits for different situations. You should have one for each situation. In my case I had the ‘Mother of All First Aid Kits’ and was ready for any situation. Be prepared, know what you have, and know how to use it.”

Jorge’s preparation and confidence paid off when on the 4th of July he was able to quickly react to the chaos, grab his First Aid Kit, and provide burn treatment to an injured woman in her time of need. 

Now get out there, grab a cold one and light some fireworks in honor of kicking some arse and being prepared so you can… Stay Alive!


Jorge Garcia the hero

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