MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
The Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Inc. will make a significant donation to a group that constantly makes a difference in the life of a burned firefighter, their families and co-workers. On February 24, 2012, seven firefighters were injured while battling a house fire on 57th Avenue in Riverdale. Of those injured, two were Bladensburg volunteer firefighters that sustained some of the most serious injuries. Ethan Sorrell and Kevin O’Toole were hospitalized for a few days and nearly two months, respectively.
From the time they were brought to the Burn Unit at Medstar Washington Hospital Center the DC Firefighters Burn Foundation were with them, their families and co-workers. Anyone that visited the injured firefighters walked away with the same opinion of this group – they are wonderful and helped everyone through a very terrifying time in our lives. This consensus feeling is repeated every time an injured firefighter has had the unfortunate opportunity to be admitted to the Burn Unit.
Their website states the following, The D.C. Firefighters Burn Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization founded by active and retired Washington, D.C. Firefighters. The Foundation is dedicated to assisting in the recovery and rehabilitation of injured firefighters and burn patients in the D.C. Metropolitan Area. We support burn research, treatment, and rehabilitation programs at Washington Hospital Center as well as the Children's Burn Camp Program. Firefighters and members of the Burn Center have a special empathy for burn victims. No other group witnesses more of the devastation that fire wreaks on the human body and spirit. Our board of directors is made up of active and retired D.C. firefighters and our membership consists of firefighters, medical professionals, burn survivors, and other interested volunteers from the community. All members of our organization serve on a voluntary basis.
The members of the Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department was so impressed by the Foundations assistance and the work they do every day for the fire service they felt compelled to go beyond the normal gratitude and thanks. On Saturday, August 4, the Bladensburg Volunteers and Ladies Auxiliary held a “purse bingo” as a means to raise funds to donate to the Foundation. The event was a tremendous success and they raised $5,000. The volunteer leadership voted to match those funds and will be presenting a check to the DC Firefighters Burn Foundation in the amount of $10,000. Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Chief Randy Kuenzli stated, “This donation will be presented to the Burn Foundation in the names of Kevin O’Toole and Ethan Sorrell.”
Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor commented, "I commend the Bladensburg Volunteers for generating this significant donation and to the DC Firefighters Burn Foundation for everything they do in providing unparalleled support to the fire service family."
The donation will be made on Tuesday, September 4, at 8:00 pm, just prior to a company meeting. The Fire/EMS Station is located at 4213 Edmonston Road in Bladensburg. For additional information about the donation and the event you are invited to contact Bladensburg Volunteer Chief Randy Kuenzli at 301-883-7709 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.