The Union Recorder

October 11, 2013

Area firefighter tournament benefits burn victims

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Baldwin County Fire Rescue & Milledgeville Fire Department’s second annual golf tournament to benefit Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation (GFBF) tees off Monday.

County fire rescue chief Troy Reynolds said luckily no one in the area has needed the GFBF services, but applauded the organization’s outreach.

“We want to be a part of it if we do need it and also for the state of Georgia. We all have family, friends and neighbors throughout the state,” Reynolds said. “A burn can affect us all.”

The foundation reaches out to families letting them know youngsters have a peer group dealing with the same issue. Summer camps provide that outlet to burn victims.

Camps are free to any Georgia resident between the ages 7 to 17 years old who sustained a burn injury that required treatment or hospitalization in a Burn Center. Children who are not residents of Georgia but have been treated or hospitalized in one of the burn centers in Georgia are also eligible to attend.

Fire prevention programming is just as important to the GFBF. Firefighters receive the funding to carry out educational initiatives.

The experts go into schools to spread the word.

GFBF is funded mostly through fire service department boot drives and other events like Monday’s local golf event.

The GFBF supports a “Give Burns The Boot” Investment Credit Program through which more than 100 participating fire departments receive 10 percent of the funds to use for fire safety/burn prevention programs in their communities.

“In these economic times budgeting fire materials is tough and at the bottom of the list, but fire prevention is a big part of what we do for the community,” Reynolds said. “With the new ISO rating, it’s actually a part that we will be able to receive points on for a fire safety program. This money allows us to get teaching materials. If we can prevent a fire before it starts, we’ve done our job.”

Fire departments across the state of Georgia have generously collected more than $12 million dollars on behalf of the foundation since 1990.

The foundation director and burn survivor thanks firefighters for what they do on the job and in supporting the charity work.

At press time Monday’s benefit golf scramble still had six slots open. Sinclair Marina is sponsoring hole-in-one boat prizes.

The tournament at the Milledgeville Country Club is a four-person scramble with registration beginning at 8 a.m. and a shotgun start at 9 a.m.

Entry Fees are $60 per player ($240 per team) and $50 for all public safety and fire service personnel ($200 per team).

Visit www.gfbf.org for more information or to donate to the cause.

Call 478-445-4421 to enter a team.