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Volunteer Spotlight

Steve Knuckles

Morro Bay Fire Chief Steve Knuckles has been involved with the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation for more than 25 years.  He has participated in countless burn survivor events, fundraisers, as well as has been instrumental in the expansion of our Firefighters in Safety Education burn prevention program throughout the state of California. Knuckles first volunteered with the AARBF in 1990, when he was a Firefighter with Atascadero and participated in the Central Coast Burn Relay. Now, 25 years later, he is the Fire Chief of Morro Bay and one of AARBF’s biggest advocates.

Knuckles was first introduced to Champ Camp in 1994. He decided to show up on the Wednesday before Camp for training. Once Knuckles saw the kids coming off the bus for the first time, the importance and impact of Champ Camp “hit (him) hard.” He attributes Champ Camp with making him a better human being and truly believes it is a worthwhile cause and has been going back year after year, ever since.

Knuckles continued to become more involved with AARBF, serving on the Board of Directors for 10 years, with 2 years as Board President.  As Board President, Knuckles oversaw the organization’s transition from multiple chapters throughout the state to becoming a single statewide Board. He helped to implement one of the first strategic plans and board retreats, and ensured that efforts were being standardized across the state.

As much as Knuckles is a strong supporter in Champ Camp and AARBF’s other recreational programs, he does not want another child to go through the traumatic experience of being burned. With this understanding and his firefighter background, he has been a huge advocate of our Firefighters in Safety Education (FISE) burn prevention program. Knuckles sees FISE as a sustainable program that can be easily implemented throughout the state. With a standardized curriculum and trainings, Knuckles is excited that firefighters everywhere could be going into schools and teaching life-saving fire and prevention skills. His passion for FISE, unknowingly led to an instrumental partnership with the Masons of California, who are supporting the expansion of FISE throughout the state.

When asked what his favorite part of volunteering with AARBF is, without hesitation he said it makes him a better human being.  He went on to state “as a Fire Chief you often do not see the results of your work and being a part of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation has allowed me to see the difference that myself and other volunteers make.”

Never missing an opportunity to talk about the great work that the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation does, Knuckles truly embodies what it means to be an outstanding AARBF volunteer. Thank you for all you do and continue to do for burn survivors and AARBF, Knuckles!  We are proud to have as our champion!

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