Yesterday, hundreds of firefighters from all over San Diego County took to the city’s streets and intersections to help raise money for burn survivors. Rancho Santa Fe’s own firefighters participated in the annual event, which raises thousands of dollars every year.
The event is called the Boot Drive, and it’s put on every year by the Burn Institute. The Burn Institute is a nonprofit health agency dedicated to reducing the number of burn injuries and deaths in San Diego and Imperial counties.
The annual Burn Institute Boot Drive raises money to help fund burn prevention programs and survivor support services. It also helps fund Camp Beyond the Scars, a camp for children who have survived burns. The camp is one of the organization’s most successful on-going efforts. Children between the ages of 5 and seventeen are invited to join a positive and special experience with tons of activities and fun. Campers learn to feel better about themselves and are better able to face their injuries with new coping skills and a renewed sense of self-esteem.
This year’s Boot Drive was an expected success. “We look forward to this event every year,” said Firefighter Nathan Fritchle. Fritchle coordinating RSFFPD’s efforts this year. “It’s a great chance for us to interact with members of the community and raise funds for a very important cause. It also creates a friendly competition among participating fire agencies to see who can raise the most money.”
Fire Chief Tony Michel added, “Due to the nature of this once-a-year endeavor, there may be some traffic delays at a few intersections in our district. We want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we strive to raise money for this great cause.”
The Boot Drive is only one of many events the Burn Institute puts on to support related programs and services. Last month, the Burn Run 5K attracted 200 burn survivors, friends, family and supporters of the Burn Institute. The event was held in recognition of National Burn Awareness Week.
Next month, the Burn Institute will be hosting Firefighter Night at the Padres, where the Padres will pay tribute to the fire service with pre-game ceremonies. The Burn Institute sells hundreds of tickets to this special game, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the BI. Rancho Santa Fe’s firefighters are expected to be in attendance.