The Burn Fund became a registered charity in 1978 by the BC Professional Firefighters Association. More than 3,800 firefighters in BC and the Yukon donate time and skills to support burn survivors and increase public knowledge about safety issues through the Burn Awareness, Research and Prevention Programs. Through events such as golf tournaments, pancake breakfasts, car washes and the annual Christmas train and Bright Nights in Stanley Park, this initiative has been able to raise more than $1,000,000 for the Vancouver General Hospital Burn Ward, the BC Children’s Hospital Burn Ward, and the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Camp.
Each year, the BC Professional Firefighter’s Burn Camp hosts children from ages 6 – 18, providing a safe, happy place where burn survivors aren’t bullied, ridiculed or shamed for their experiences. Over 800 children have attended the camp for one week each July since its inception in 1994. Doctors, nurses, medical therapists, adult burn survivors and professional fire fighters donate their time as counselors, and provide one-on-one support to all of the campers.
The camp is fully funded by the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund, thanks to the generous support of BC’s professional firefighter locals, individuals, corporations and foundations. Funding covers campers’ travel and accomodation, as well as the cost of coordinating and operating the camp in its entirety. It also allows the campers to attend without having to pay for anything.
Camp counselors have the opportunity to share great moments with these children, encouraging them to climb ropes, swim in bathing suits without fear of being stared at, and to hike trails when they were barely able to walk such a short time ago. Campers enjoy kayaking, rafting, waterskiing, and arts and crafts, and being able to spend time with fellow survivors.