REPORTING · 22nd September 2011
Firefighters Doug Bassett and Mark Zielinski stepped up to the podium at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 6th to present about the BC Burn Fund and their involvement in the community.
“The Burn Fund is a registered Charity that was established in 1978 by the BC Professional Firefighters Association. The Burn Fund provides Lifesaving, Life Supporting and Life Enriching services to all the people of British Columbia. More then 3800 professional Firefighters from 51 communities in British Columbia and the Yukon are building the Burn Fund’s Vision and supporting their endeavour. They dedicate their time, their skill to support burn survivors, increase the public knowledge about fire and burn safety issues through the work the Burn Fund does through it’s burn awareness, research and prevention programs,” said Bassett.
Bassett explained there were four main programs the Burn Fund contributes too. The first is a burn trauma unit in the EGH at Vancouver. The second is Burn Survivor Programs. The third is the fund the burn program at BC Children’s Hospitals. Finally the Burn Fund supports the Royal Jubilee hospital in Victoria.
Bassett played a DVD for Council.
Mark Zielinski explained how the Firefighters have been fundraising for the Burn Fund. In 2009, they purchased a Harley Davidson. They recouped the funds from it and raised an additional $20,000 for the fund. For this, they received a BC Platinum award from the BC Burn Fund.
“And that was at one of the most difficult times in our community,” said Zielinski.
This year, they purchased 6 prizes. They raised $8,500. “Kitimat should be very proud of themselves and thank you for supporting us,” added Zielinski.
Mayor Joanne Monaghan asked what their next project will be. Zielinski said they were digging deep and might have a trip planned for somewhere. Monaghan thanked them for the work they did.
Zielinski explained what the firefighters do in the community. They sponsor an Atom Hockey Team, they donate to the telethon and spend time answering phones and hosting the telethon, they deliver Christmas hampers and they participate in the parade and put on the fireworks and clean up.
The Firefighters help the dry grad, provide medical coverage at Bull-o-Rama, they participate in Remembrance Day, they provide stand by medical coverage for the Kitimat Karate Club, the Taekwondo club, the snowmobile club and the Gymnastics club.
They coach hockey, track and field, cross country skiing, basketball, hiking, golf and swimming. They provide coverage at the Hill Climb, they donate time to search and rescue and avalanche search and rescue. Fire Fighters also participate in programs around the community.
The Firefighters participate in charity games, give money for kids to play hockey and represent Kitimat at the annual firefighters hockey tournament.
“For 16 guys, we do a lot of work. I’m really proud of the local,” said Zielinski