Firefighters help burn victims

Okotoks: $8,000 raised in FireFit Games to send kids to camp

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 10:58 am

Okotoks Fire Chief Ken Thevenot, right, and firefighter Bob Button, left, donate $8,000 to Ian McKee, with the Edmonton chapter of the Firefighters Burn Treatment Society to go to the Alberta Firefighters Burn Camp. The funds were raised during last month’s Western Prairie Regional FireFit Championships held in Okotoks.
Okotoks Fire Chief Ken Thevenot, right, and firefighter Bob Button, left, donate $8,000 to Ian McKee, with the Edmonton chapter of the Firefighters Burn Treatment Society to go to the Alberta Firefighters Burn Camp. The funds were raised during last month’s Western Prairie Regional FireFit Championships held in Okotoks.
Jordan Verlage/OWW

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Okotoks firefighters are giving young burn victims a chance to forget about their scars and injuries and spend a week outdoors at camp.

The Okotoks Fire Department donated $8,000 to the Alberta Firefighters Burn Camp on July 14. The funds were raised during the Western Prairie Regional Firefit Championships in June and will go towards covering the cost of operating a six-day camp in Bragg Creek for burn victims.

Bob Button, Okotoks firefighter and Firefit games organizer, said the event was never just about the firefighters who came out to compete. He said they wanted to make an impact and help people who needed it.

“That’s outstanding, that was the whole idea behind this was we were trying to involve the community in an event that has never been here before, create a positive spin and bring in the Alberta Burn Camp For Kids,” said Button.

The camp is held at the Easter Seals Camp Horizon near Bragg Creek and hosts 70 children for six days and five nights every August.

The association helps children between the ages of seven and 17 with either physical or emotional scarring anywhere in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northern B.C. and the Northwest Territories.

The approximately $60,000 cost (averaging just under $1,000 per child) to operate the camp is entirely supported by donations.

Ian McKee, with the Edmonton chapter of the Firefighters Burn Treatment Society, said the camp is a place where young burn victims can forget their scars and just be themselves.

“In a world where a lot is placed on physical appearance, when you look different you’re often teased, made fun of and stared at,” he said. “When you come to camp, none of that is there because everybody is on the same playing field.”

The Firefit Games were held in Okotoks for the first time in June, but they could be coming back.

Button revealed the Okotoks department has been asked to submit a bid for the 2017 National Firefit championships.


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