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Who is Alisa Ann?

At age eight, Alisa Ann Ruch was fatally injured in a backyard barbecue accident in Southern California. Bravely using their tragedy as a catalyst for change, Alisa Ann’s parents, local firefighters and medical professionals joined together and created AARBF in 1971 with the goal of preventing burn injuries by teaching “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”

Our Story

Our fight for a safer California begins with our community.

The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF) is a California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing burns and fires and providing services to those who have been affected by a burn injury. AARBF brings together health care providers, firefighters, emergency workers, burn care professionals, burn survivors, and our
community to enhance the quality of life for burn survivors
and to make burn injuries a thing of the past.

Our mission is to significantly reduce the number of burn injuries through prevention education, and to enhance the quality of life of those affected by burn injuries in California.

A safe California free from burn injuries, and a community of empowered burn survivors.


Burn survivors and families who received services


Burn survivors and family visited in the hospital


Community members reached for burn prevention


Students reached via Firefighters in Safety Education

Our Board of Directors

The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation is governed by an Executive Board of Directors and a Council of Advisors. Both leadership teams are composed of members of the fire service, burn care professionals, burn survivors, corporate and community leaders, and energetic, motivated people just like you.

Our Team

AARBF provides services through out the state of California and has staff members located regionally in San Francisco, Fresno and Los Angeles. Our headquarters and main mailing address is in San Francisco. The staff are responsible for the day-to-day operations of AARBF’s programs and services. In short, they help AARBF make a greater impact.

Daniel Chacon

Executive Director

Andrew Mersmann

Director of Programs and Services

Jeanne Terwilliger

Director of Operations

Elisa Brooke

Development Director

Erika Mendoza

Camps and Recreation Manager

Martha Banks

Survivor Services Care Manager (Southern CA)

Michael Knopf

Survivor Services Care Manager (Northern CA)

Katrina Arthur

Operations Manager

50 Stories

In honor of our 50 Years of Service, we have compiled 50 stories from our burn community of survivors, volunteers and supporters into a commemorative book sharing the impact the foundation has made to Californians and beyond.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

AARBF is a California nonprofit that is committed to sharing their values of diversity, equity and inclusion as part of their growing initiatives in the prevention of burn injuries through education and support of burn survivors and their families in California.