“Summer Is Still Not Over For Our Firefighters.”

A Letter From The Executive Director, August 2017

Reflecting back on this summer, I’m realizing that it’s gone by incredibly fast. Vacations have ended and school is already starting up again. Here at the Firefighters Burn Institute, we hosted the Firefighter’s “A Tropical Affair” event, had the Firefighters Kids Camp at Camp Arroyo and participated in multiple fundraisers where local businesses, such as Brasserie Capitale and Sactown Union Brewery, came together to support our cause.

But despite the normal signs of the season coming to an end, I’m reminded each time I step outside into the heat that it’s far from over.

Consider this: there are over a dozen active fires in California right now that continue to burn in part because it is summer. Nearly 40 firefighters from our neighborhood firehouses are assisting local, state and federal firefighters in the battle to extinguish these fires. They are on hose lines as part of “strike teams.” They are bringing skills to management teams holding positions likes Deputy Incident Commander, Fireline paramedic, Public Information Officer, Safety Officer, Resource and Facility Unit Leader and Task Force Leader. All of these are highly skilled positions that can be dangerous ones as well.

Your FFBI’s Response Team, staffed by firefighters volunteering their time, is put in place to assist the firefighters, their families, their department, union, association and medical staff when the dangerous nature of their job becomes an unfortunate event of a burn injury. The team has been at the FFBI Regional Burn Center at UC Davis seven times this year for our burn-injured firefighters. Four of the seven were battling the massive fires you have seen on the news, some have been in the burn unit for weeks, and all want to get back to protecting us. Summer is still not over for our firefighters.

All these firefighters are cut from the same cloth as their predecessors, the same firefighters that founded the FFBI. Every time I walk into my office located inside an antique firehouse, I am reminded of the fact that the FFBI – and ultimately the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center at UCDMC – would not exist if it were not for the hard work and dedication of the firefighters and those who support them.

Nearly 45 years ago, after a horrific plane crash at Farrell’s Ice Cream, firefighters created the FFBI to ensure that our community, northern California and beyond, would be served by the best burn care on the planet. They rose to the challenge exactly like our local firefighters are doing today, to ensure we are safe and protected. Virtues that our FFBI volunteers from all walks of life have embraced as well. We all carry on the mission of our founder Cliff Haskell and the firefighters of years past.

Our firefighters are out there protecting us day and night. Summer will not be over for all us…

Michael Daw
Michael Daw
Executive Director, Firefighters Burn Institute
Retired Battalion Chief, Sacramento Metro Fire Department