Fire fighters from Kelowna have contributed $100,000 to fund one of eight accommodation units at a new $13.1 million centre to be built by the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund in Vancouver.
The local firefighters have been joined by others from Burnaby, Cranbrook, Delta, Kamloops, North Vancouver District, Richmond and Surrey for total contribution of $675,000 to the new Burn Fund Centre.
“We’ve seen firsthand that helping with accommodation for burn and trauma survivors and their families can be one of the most significant contributions to help survivors physically and emotionally recover and live a full life”, said Mike Hurley, president of the Burn Fund.
“We’re so grateful that the fire fighters in Kelowna have shown such leadership in helping us meet this critical need.”
According to the fund, the province is experiencing a critical shortfall in accommodation for burn and trauma patients and their family caregivers.
Patients’ health may be compromised when they have to return home sooner than medically advised or live in accommodations not suited to recovery from a burn or trauma. says the fund.
Each year almost 700 children and adults from across the province are admitted to the firefighter’s burn, plastic and trauma unit at Vancouver General Hospital and to B.C. Children’s Hospital suffering serious trauma. Cases from outside the Lower Mainland make up 27 per cent of cases, and 60% of those are paying for private sector accommodation for an average of eight weeks.
The new $13.1 million centre will provide eight short-term stay units. It will also house the offices of the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Association and Burn Fund and include ground floor retail space to help fund the ongoing operation of the building. The Burn Fund has secured 80 per cent of the necessary funding and is currently in the midst of a capital campaign.
“Nobody plans to be a burn survivor”, said Lisa Lacamell, executive director of the Burn Fund. “But when it happens, your family’s life is turned inside out in a matter of seconds. With our contributions to research, patient care, survivor support and prevention we’re trying to give British Columbians their best chance, the Burn Fund Centre is the missing piece of that legacy.”
The burn fund has been providing prevention and survivor support programs, and funding medical care, training and research to the people of British Columbia and the Yukon for almost four decades.
The fund’s is supported by more than 3,800 professional fire fighters from fifty-three communities in B.C. and the Yukon who raise money and give both their time and expertise to the cause.