March 2024 Burn Bulletin

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March 2024 Burn Bulletin

Sharing the Danger of Flammable Liquids

AARBF honored National Burn Awareness Week (BAW), February 4th -10th by sharing burn prevention messaging created by our friends at the American Burn Association. BAW is an annual initiative to bring together burn, fire, and life safety educators to educate the public about the devastation and causes of burn injuries and the steps you can take to prevent them. This year’s theme was “Flammable Liquids.” We shared tips throughout the week to show ways to prevent burn injuries to keep you and your family safe.

Team FCC Takes the Lead in the Fresno Urban Run Fundraiser

On Friday, February 16th, the fire academy students from the Fresno City College (FCC), Class 61 hosted a car wash accepting donations for this year’s Fresno Urban Run fundraiser. By the end of the day, the FCC team had met their fundraising goal of $5,000. Way to go, Team FCC!

This awesome group of cadets has pledged to keep going and has increased their goal to $10,000. We are looking forward to seeing what other events they have planned to help them reach their fundraising goal and gain “Top Team” bragging rights.

We have three teams competing in this year’s fundraiser. You can help FCC reach their new goal or catch up one of the others by visiting: and click on Donate Now. Be sure to indicate the team you wish to support near the top of the donation form.

The date of the run day has been changed and is now scheduled a month earlier on Sunday, April 7, 2024. If you are interested in participating in the run, please visit for all of the details.

Connecting and Thriving at Camp Ocean Pines

Over the Presidents’ Day weekend, February 16th -19th, a group of thirty young adults came together at Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria for the Young Adult Summit (YAS). This year’s theme was “Survivor,” and we explored the values of connection, leadership, and thriving. We participated in a variety of workshops, including body image, finance, etiquette, public speaking, and more. The good weather allowed us to spend quality time at the beach and observe the elephant seals. We were thrilled to be joined by 10 participants and mentors from our Chicago and Canada exchange programs. We would like to extend a special thank you to our amazing volunteers, including Chief, Buggy, Blondie, Stretch, Dr. Ruth, Tex, Buc, Shakespeare, Knuckles, Bubbles, Hydra, Pookie, Dash, Butterbean, and Kamikaze, for helping make the weekend a success. It was an incredible experience to be able to provide the tools that will continue to support our young adults as they grow and thrive. Thank you to everyone who joined and made it happen.

If You Could See What I See

AARBF hosted two groups over the President’s Day weekend. In addition to our YAS attendees, we also joyfully welcomed thirty adult burn survivors to the Adult Retreat 2024. The team of facilitators and participants provided a secure place for everyone to continue their healing process and personal growth. The retreat allowed old friends to reconnect while also providing the opportunity to make new friends. Thought-provoking sessions involving grief/loss, body image, guided meditations, music, and more were held, with a focus on the famous words of James Bosch – “If you could see what I see” – resonating throughout the entire weekend. We are grateful to everyone who was able to attend the event and be present. We look forward to seeing you throughout the year and at next year’s Adult Retreat.

Connecting with Burn Care Professionals

During the month of February our Survivor Services Care Managers, Martha Banks and Michael Knopf, were busy visiting their local burn units to conduct presentations to hospital staff on the survivor and prevention programs and services available through AARBF. The presentations were conducted during hospital staff meetings which included staff from all shifts. It was a great opportunity to share how AARBF can provide support to their patients as well as answer any questions from staff members. Together, Martha and Michael reached 145 staff members. Thank you for all of the staff members from our partner hospitals taking the time to attend.

Educational Scholarships Now Available

Applications are open now through mid-June for the Woody and Louise Reed Bridge to Life Scholarship. This incredible program made possible by the Reed family awards scholarships to burn survivors or their immediate family members seeking post-secondary education after high school. This can be community college, college, university, or trade school and is open to all ages going directly into or returning to education.

For burn survivors pursuing higher academic degrees, Master’s level or Ph.D., use the same application for the Aiming Higher Scholarship to supplement your school cost and pave the way to your bright future.

Find the link to apply by visiting our website at:

Last Call for Champ Camp CITs

Calling out to all potential CITs for Champ Camp 2024. If you have not already had the chance and would like to become a CIT this year you have until Friday, March 15th to turn in your application and have it completed to the best of your abilities. Further steps will be communicated to those who have completed their application after this date.

Complete your application today at:

Martha Banks: The Power of Support

2023 was an amazing year filled with many beautiful moments and changes. One such moment includes when Martha Banks joined the AARBF Team as the new Survivor Care Manager.

In this video link above, Martha opens up and shares her experience of being a child burn survivor. Included in her story was how meeting James Bosch, an AARBF staff member and burn survivor, influenced her life. James visited her in the hospital while she was being treated for her burn injuries and remained a resource to her as she began her survivor journey. This care management had a profound impact on Martha which inspired her throughout her life and ultimately led her to come back to AARBF as an adult to provide that same support and care to other burn survivors.

The Power of Support is something we value here at AARBF and strive to provide to our burn survivor community. From support groups to the newly named, James Bosch Therapy Grant, we assist our survivors and their family members as they navigate their own journey.

Bocce Ball Fundraiser

We are so very grateful for the generous support of South San Francisco Fire who hosted their annual Bocce Ball fundraiser benefitting AARBF. We appreciate their continued support and invaluable partnership. We also thank the fabulous sponsors who helped make this event a success.

Volunteer Opportunties:

Please check with your regional office for more information on upcoming volunteer opportunities.

For Northern California, please contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at or 415-495-7223 Ext. 19

For Central California, please contact McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern at or 559-286-0710 Ext. 15

For Southern California, please contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16

Upcoming Events:

Did you know applications for all of our 2024 overnight retreats and camps are open? To find events, details, dates, and the link to the application, click here for our camps and recreation page.

We have a new schedule for our support groups. Please click here to see what has changed for 2024.

Or, contact us at for more information.

March 15: Applications Close for Champ Camp CITs

April 7: Fresno Urban Run

April 18-21: Women’s Empowerment Weekend

June 8-15: Champ Camp

If you missed any of our past Burn Bulletins, please check out our archives.