Sometimes terrible accidents occur in order for people to realize a change needs to be made, and that is exactly how the Firefighters Burn Institute of Sacramento began. In 1972, a jet airplane crashed into an ice cream parlor across the street from the Sacramento Executive Airport, killing 23 people and burning several others. It took this tragic day to have Cliff Haskell, a Captain with the Sacramento Fire Department, to convince the Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Local 522 to allow him to begin to work in establishing a specialized burn unit for the area. Cliff began fund-raising campaigns and the Firefighters Burn Institute was formed in December 1973
The Firefighters Burn Institute is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of recovery programs for burn survivors and fire fighters, teaches fire and burn prevention through public information, raises funds for educating burn team professionals, firefighters and burn survivors and supports research for burn treatment and rehabilitation. There are several different programs through this organization which include a burn recovery group, the LRT Program, an adult retreat, the Firefighter Kids Camp and Little Heroes Preschool Burn Camp.
The Firefighters Kids Camp is a one-week program that is held each summer in Lake Tahoe. This program is designed for kids who are age six to seventeen and who are burn survivors. The mission of this camp is to provide a fun and safe environment for the kids to heal and grow together. There are various activities that the campers can participate in every day such as arts and crafts, swimming, hiking, ice skating, boating and much more.
“My first year working here I worked at the Firefighters Kids Camp and it was an amazing experience,” says Rachel Crowell, a Firefighters Burn Institute employee. “This program makes such a huge impact on these kids in the the best way because they are learning that they are all survivors, not victims, and should keep on living their lives and having fun.”
The Firefighters Burn Institute’s main goal is to show anyone who has been involved in any type of burn accident that they are not victims, but survivors, and that is why all programs that are provided to the youth are for free. This organization has designed many scholarship opportunities, hold several fundraising events and take in donations so that they can provide all of their programs as well as donate medical research equipment to the UCDMC Regional Burn Center.
To find out more information on the Firefighters Burn Institute or to find out how you can help, you can call (916) 739-8525 or visit their website at www.ffburn.org/.