Meet the people with a fervent desire to support burn victims.
In 2006, the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society (CFBTS) approached the Calgary Health Foundation with the wish to improve the lives of burn victims across Southern Alberta. They brought with them a passion for burn treatment, research, education, and awareness—an enthusiasm perfectly suited to the vocation of their members.
Since that fateful meeting, the CFBTS has been a tireless supporter of the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Centre through donations to Calgary Health Foundation.
A Centre of Excellence in burn treatment and research since 1978, the Burn Treatment Centre at the Foothills Medical Centre—the only burn treatment unit in Calgary—is the primary treatment centre for patients in southern Alberta, southeastern British Columbia, southwestern Saskatchewan, and northern Montana.
When talking about the CFBTS, the Burn Treatment Centre’s Medical Director, Dr. Vincent Gabriel, speaks to the breadth of their impact: “Support from the (Society) allows us to provide care to any burn patient presenting to our centre and also expand our knowledge through training and our technology development research program.”
Tanya Miller, Nurse Manager of the Burn Treatment Centre, describes the long-term impact of CFBTS contributions this way: “The Society is part of our (extended) team. Their effort to raise funds for our burn centre improves the lives of burn patients in many ways; from equipment to unit and clinic upgrades, staff education and research, their donations impact burn survivors directly and for the better.”
An organization supported by over 1,400 professional Calgary firefighters, the CFBTS offers more than funds for the acquisition of state-of-the-art clinical equipment, research, and care; it offers community.
“Because of the CFBTS, we have more resources for patients including a peer support program and a sense of community made only possible through their dedicated involvement,” adds Miller. “When a patient leaves the safe walls of our unit, they know they’ll continue to receive care from us.”
Survivor Yvonne Gaudet, who was cared for by the Burn Treatment Centre after suffering an injury in November 2016, agrees. He credits the Centre’s support system for his healing:
“I’m grateful for the unwavering support and dedication of the CFBTS in helping burn survivors. The Society has shown a profound devotion and empathy towards a unique cause and a special group of survivors. Their ongoing positive influence throughout my journey as a burn survivor has helped me stay the course and embrace every day.”
The relationship between the Society and the Burn Treatment Centre is something to be proud of. CFBTS Chair, Thomas Kerr, agrees:
“We have a longstanding relationship (with the Centre) that we are immensely proud of. We have the utmost respect for the staff on the unit and their exceptional skill, passion, and knowledge in providing top-notch care and treatment to burn patients.”
A passion for making a difference and for giving back to the community is foundational to the Society’s mission.
Kerr’s emphasis on the benefits of partnership is something that others can seek to emulate when looking to make their own impact in the community:
“Our commitment to supporting burn care, treatment, and research is unwavering, and our partnership with the burn unit and the other programs we support is essential to achieving this goal. We remain dedicated to working together to make a positive impact on the lives of burn survivors and their families in our community.”