The boot drive brings together the county’s two departments in an effort to raise money for the foundation, the camp for burn survivors and the public safety education programs of both agencies.
“As fire departments and firefighters, our hearts are set on giving,” said Bartow County Fire Marshal Bryan Cox. “The time spent training, studying, going to class after class, is for one purpose and one purpose only — to make a difference.”
According to a press release, the department will receive 10 percent of all funds raised to be used in fire safety education programs.
Citizens can donate two ways:
First, the departments will hold boot drives on the following dates and locations:
— Bartow County Fire Department will have representatives at highways 41 and 140 in Adairsville, Highway 41 and Grassdale Road, and Tanyard Creek and Glade roads on Thursday, May 16, and Friday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
— Cartersville Fire Department members will be located at Cherokee and Erwin streets, at Wal-Mart on State Route 20, and Ingles on Highway 113 on Thursday, May 16, and Friday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The second way to give is by visiting www.giveburnstheboot.org and donating online. Find Bartow County Fire Department or Cartersville Fire Department and click on the department to which the donation should be made.
“A true firefighter is born, not made. The courage has always been there, honor is a way of life, ethics — we live and die by it,” Cox said. “The very things that makes a firefighter are the same traits you will find in every burn victim.
“When the flames are raging, people will come from all around just to watch it burn. ... Firefighters are looked at to be some of the most courageous people in the world. Burn victims win that battle hands down. Our calls may last hours to a couple of days and then reset. Burn victims’ calls never end — the call that brought us together, whatever it might be, never ends for the burn victim.”
For Cox, the fundraising efforts of the two local agencies show victims the departments never forget.
“By doing the boot drives, it’s our way of showing them that we are still on the call together,” he said. “This boot drive will help ensure that much is being done — medical, physical, emotional — for all burn victims in the state of Georgia. You never know when it might be you or a loved one needing this help, so have a giving heart and support the boot drive or online campaign.”
Both BCFD and CFD have set an online goal, with citizens’ support helping reach those numbers. While the departments will have a public outreach next week, donations can be made online at any time.
For more information, contact Bartow County Fire Marshal Bryan Cox at 678-721-5495 or Mark Hathaway with Cartersville Fire Department at 770-606-5305.