November 2020 Burn Bulletin

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November 2020 Burn Bulletin

AARBF Launches Wildfire P.R.E.P.A.R.E. During Fire Prevention Week 2020

Each year, the first full week of October is dedicated to Fire Prevention Week. This year’s national theme was “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.” Although kitchen safety is a very important topic, especially in recent months with so many people spending more time at home and preparing their own meals, it is not the most important issue facing California. Instead, AARBF focused the week on our new Wildfire P.R.E.P.A.R.E.

When it comes to wildfire preparedness, there are a number of great resources available from many credible agencies, including: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), American Red Cross, International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), and US Fire Administration (USFA), among many others.

AARBF’s P.R.E.P.A.R.E. organizes the information, tips and guidance provided by these agencies and organizations into 7 easy steps on how you can P.R.E.P.A.R.E. for a wildfire: Plan, Review and Rehearse, Evacuate, Prepare to Return Home, Assess and Adjust, Return Home, and Evaluate.

During Fire Prevention Week, we were joined by our Firefighter friends who, along with AARBF’s Jennifer Radics-Johnson, created videos to help us introduce each of the seven steps. We appreciate them taking time out of their busy fire season schedules to assist us with releasing this important prevention education.

We give a very special thank you to:

Firefighter Rudy with the Orange County Fire Authority Fire Department
Firefighters Bixby and Tyler with the Merced Fire Department
Firefighter Elizabeth with the Santa Clara City Fire Department
Retired Fire Chief David with the Corona Fire Department
Firefighter Scott with the Hanford Fire Department
Firefighter Rob with the Santa Clara County Fire Department

To see their videos, please visit our website at From this page, you can also download our resource guide and checklist to help you create your plan. Be sure to share photos and videos of your family making a plan using the hashtag #aarbfprepare on social media!

The 29th Annual Central Coast Fire Chief’s Burn Relay Goes Virtual!

Fire Prevention Week would not be complete without the Annual Central Coast Fire Chief’s Burn Relay. This year marks the 29th year of the event! Due to current restrictions, this event went virtual. This Relay differs from other annual relays because it incorporates prevention education into the fundraising effort.

The Relay is coordinated by Five Cities Fire Authority Fire Captain Brian Leathers and his daughter Megan Leathers. Because of the large region, the 12 central coast participating fire departments are divided into two routes – The North and The South Route. Please enjoy this amazing video, in the link above, that showcases the strong and engaged community of the Central Coast Fire Departments while we follow along the routes of the relay and learn about Fire Prevention!

Thank you, Captain Brian and Megan, for coordinating the Central Coast Fire Chief’s Virtual Burn Relay 2020! We are beyond grateful for your leadership and initiative in creating this virtual relay! We would also like to thank the following fire departments for their participation:

CAL FIRE San Luis Obispo

Nipomo Fire Department & Firefighters’ Association

Five Cities Fire Department & Firefighters

CAL FIRE Pismo Beach Fire Department

San Luis Obispo City Fire Department & Firefighters’ Association

Diablo Canyon Fire Department

PG&E Corporation

Diablo Canyon Employees

San Miguel Fire Department & Firefighters Association

Paso Robles Fire Department & Local 4148

Templeton Fire Department & Firefighters’ Association

Atascadero Fire Department

Santa Margarita Fire Department

Morro Bay Fire Department

Cambria Fire Department & Firefighters’ Association

In addition to providing prevention education, the Relay raised over $13,600 for AARBF and Champ Camp! We are so grateful to have the Central Coast Community’s continued support.

Wildfire P.R.E.P.A.R.E. Joins the Meet the Johnsons Book Series!

During Fire Prevention Week, we offered a sneak peek of the fifth and final book of the Meet the Johnsons fire and burn safety children’s book series: The Johnsons P.R.E.P.A.R.E. for a Wildfire. Written by AARBF’s Executive Director, Jennifer Radics-Johnson, and illustrated by Alexandra Hall-Pinner, The Johnsons P.R.E.P.A.R.E. for a Wildfire follows the Johnson family as they prepare and experience surviving a wildfire. The book covers each of the steps of AARBF’s Wildfire P.R.E.P.A.R.E. and provides tips and resources on how families can prepare for a wildfire. Stay tuned for the launch of the book coming soon!

You will also want to watch for the entire book series coming to you soon with Spanish translations!

SPARC Has Launched!

In our August issue, we announced we would have a new burn prevention program called Senior Prevention and Risk Conversations or SPARC launching in October in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week.

SPARC is an interactive and customized program designed to engage older adults, ages 55 years and older, in conversations about fire and burn safety, in a comfortable and casual environment.

Watch this video to learn more about SPARC and how you can bring it to your community:

AARBF Partners with Pyramid Educational Consultants!

AARBF is excited to announce a new partnership with Pyramid Educational Consultants in bringing fire and burn safety education to individuals with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and communication challenges.

Utilizing the safety messages from AARBF’s “Firefighters in Safety Education” program, Pyramid Educational Consultants is able to create burn prevention images to add to their extremely successful Pics for PECS picture set, which can be used for communication via the Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS®) protocol as well as within social stories and life lessons to help learners understand fire and burn safety. Our goal is to provide life-saving lessons and burn prevention education to learners with special needs, who are more vulnerable to preventable exposure to danger and are at higher risk for burn injuries.

To learn move, visit our website at Watch for the launch of this new picture set in February 2021 – just in time for Burn Awareness Week!

Introducing Our Newest Interns!

AARBF is excited to introduce our newest interns, Pradnya Bergdahl and Christian Pine.

Pradnya is a burn survivor and has been involved with the AARBF for the past 9 years as a camper, CIT and as a member on the Young Adult Council. She is excited to expand her knowledge on all of the different programs and services the Foundation offers. Pradnya says she is ready to work alongside the staff to learn and grow both personally and professionally while getting hands-on experience and training!

Christian is also a burn survivor and has been involved with AARBF for many years. He says AARBF has helped him to grow and learn as a burn survivor. As an intern, Christian hopes to learn how to apply those same tools given to him to help many more people!

We are delighted to have Pradnya and Christian join the AARBF Team! Interested in learning more about AARBF’s Internship program? Contact us at

AARBF Attends Virtual Phoenix World Burn Congress

We were excited to attend this year’s Phoenix World Burn Congress (PWBC) which was held virtually on October 23-25. Each year, AARBF assists burn survivors and their families with financial scholarships to attend PWBC. Although this year was virtual, there were still some fees involved and AARBF was able to assist 29 individuals (this also included 8 families) with scholarships!

Traditionally, AARBF hosts two events during the conference an ice cream social and scholarship recipient dinner. These events are held so that California burn survivors can have opportunities to all be together during the conference. We love these times together so much we decided to take them virtual! On Friday, October 23 we enjoyed a virtual ice cream social. Participants received a Baskin Robbins gift certificate to purchase their ice cream for the social. During our time together we played a fun trivia game! For Saturday’s dinner everyone received a $25 Happy Dinning gift card so they could purchase their dinner and join us for the Zoom session. We host this annual dinner to celebrate the scholarship awardees. We congratulate all of the AARBF PWBC Scholarship Awardees who took the time to apply and, most importantly, took the time to log in and participate in this year’s virtual event! We enjoyed spending time with everyone!

Please join us in giving a big thank you to AARBF’s PWBC committee for all of their hard work with this year’s planning. We’d also like to thank the Phoenix Society for all of the great programming they provide year-round to support burn survivors.

Shop for a Cause this Holiday Season!

AARBF has been a designated non-profit by two retailers giving back this holiday season!

AARBF will receive a portion of the proceeds from the sales of Shiki Wrap in the 4th quarter of 2020! Shiki Wrap is reusable, cloth gift wrap printed on fibers made from recycled plastic launched this fall by our very own Resource Development Director, Meagan Downey.  Check out their website at and follow @shikiwrapusa on Instagram for a chance to win the debut collections!

AARBF is also a part of the Bath+Body Fusion’s BBF Gives Back Campaign! What does this mean? BBF is donating $5 for each jar of Dream Cream they sell to select charitable organizations. The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation has been selected! Check out their website at to learn more about their Dream Cream and how they are giving back.

AARBF Attends Spotlight on Public Education Virtual Conference

On October 27, AARBF staff attended a Spotlight on Public Education Virtual Conference hosted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The conference focused on teaching fire and life safety with sessions including, Hoarding, Community Risk Assessment, Taking Your Education Programs Virtually Anywhere, Falls Prevention and ending with Networking Roundtables.

The virtual conference was well attended by representatives from around the globe. Attendees included public educators, injury prevention professionals, and others responsible for risk reduction. AARBF was happy to be a part of the conference, having the opportunity to share knowledge and ideas with others who are looking for ways to enhance and strengthen prevention education in our communities!

AARBF Wants You to Take a Hike!

In a typical year, AARBF would be hosting hiking trips in our three regions in the month of November. Although we are not able to hike with you this year, we still want you to hit the trails!

To get you ready for your hike, we are sharing a great new video from Anne “Kimchi” teaching you the basics to get you started on safe outdoor adventures Remember, hiking doesn’t have to be a 10-mile trek! You can start with short walks and build up your stamina to go greater distances.

Keep your outdoor activities safe. Please make sure to always check the weather while planning your hike and on the day of the hike! Also make sure to check if the trails are open. On our website, below Kimchi’s video, you can find links to websites that are great tools to use while planning your hike. As always, please be respectful of our beautiful Earth and stay on the marked trails, pick up all your trash, and leave the wildlife be.

Even though we cannot be together, we still want to share in your outdoor adventures this month! Please post your pictures or videos on social media using #aarbfhikes.

The Clovis Firefighters Dinner & Dance Annual Fundraiser Has Gone Virtual

Each year, the Clovis Firefighters host a Dinner & Dance benefitting the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. The event usually boasts a dinner, cash bar, live auction, silent auction and music played throughout the night. But, of course, this year is very different!

While we won’t be able to gather for dinner, drinks, and dancing, we can still have an auction! And since this auction is being held online, it opens the event to everyone throughout the state to attend.

In keeping with the fundraising spirit of the event, you can purchase a “virtual ticket” for $30 or a “virtual table” for $240 (tickets are not required to participate in the auction). The funds raised will be used for Burn Survivor Services, including Champ Camp, and Prevention Education.

The auction will begin on November 30, 2020 and will continue throughout the week, ending on December 4, 2020. You must be registered to participate in the auction.

To register for the auction or make a donation, please visit our website at

You’re Invited to Our Virtual Holiday Party!

Although we are disappointed we cannot be with you in person for our annual holiday parties, we are excited to have all of our regions combined into one virtual party! We hope you will join us on December 11 from 6pm – 7pm for all of the festivities.

This is a time to say hello to old friends and make new ones! This event is open to all burn survivors and their immediate family, living in the same household. Each family will receive a free gift! Registration is required. Please visit our website at to download the registration form today. Don’t delay, the deadline to register is December 1, 2020.

Upcoming Events:

November 26-27: Thanksgiving, All AARBF Offices Closed

November 30 – December 4: Clovis Firefighters Virtual Dinner & Dance, online auction begins November 30 and closes on December 4. Visit for registration information.

December 1: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Santa Clara Valley Medical Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at or 415-495-7223 x19 to receive log-in information.

December 3: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Family and Caregiver Online Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 x 18 or to receive log-in information.

December 6: (1:30pm – 3:30pm), SoCal Survivors Online Support Group, contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16 to receive log-in information.

December 8: (6:00pm-7:30pm), Fresno Community Regional Medical Center Online Support Group, contact McKenzie “Bubbles” Dern at or 559-286-0710 ext. 15 to receive log-in information.

December 9: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), East Bay Burn Online Support Group, this group has now been combined with the Santa Rosa Support Group. Contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at or 415-495-7223 x19 to receive log-in information.

December 9: (6:30pm – 8:00pm), Santa Rosa Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at or 415-495-7223 x19 to receive log-in information.

December 10: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Burn Care Professionals Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 x 18 or to receive log-in information.

December 11: (6:00pm – 7:00pm), AARBF Virtual Holiday Party, to learn more and to register, please visit

December 15: Spanish-Speaking Online Burn Survivor Support Group, contact Margarita “Cubby” Rodriguez at or 818-848-0223 Ext. 16 to receive log-in information.

December 17: (7:00pm – 8:30pm), Online Video Burn Survivor Support Group, contact Daniel “Apollo” Chacon at 415-495-7223 x 18 or to receive log-in information.

December 17: (11:30am – 1:00pm), Saint Francis Online Support Group, contact Scott “Scooter” Wertz at or 415-495-7223 x19 to receive log-in information.


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

Just a reminder to go to; click on Upcoming Events, for the latest AARBF events and activities that need your support.