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These boots are made for filling

While those rubber boots are usually strapped to the feet of firefighters, they will take on their annual role as collection bins Saturday during the “Fill the Boot” drive, which benefits the Firefighters Burn Institute in Sacramento.

Firefighters from all of western Nevada County’s departments will be participating in the annual event, held throughout the area from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The money goes back to the kids we try to take care of so much,” Nevada County Consolidated engineer Brad Amaral said. “It’s something firefighters feel so strongly about. When you get a kid who has been burned badly, it hits us hard.”



Firefighters will be patrolling the area’s most populated spots, such as shopping centers and busy intersections, looking for donations.

“Just call us over,” Amaral said. “Make eye contact with us. We will take pennies, nickels, dimes, whatever.”




All of the donations will go directly to the burn foundation, which will in turn use it for several causes, such as an annual summer camp for burn victims, research projects and the purchase of equipment for the U.C. Davis Burn Center.

During last year’s fund drive, $30,000 was raised, Consolidated engineer Josh Sunde said.

“I do this because it makes me feel good in my heart to see the community come together,” Amaral said. “I donate my time because I want to see those kids smile.”

Sunde, who has participated in three “boot” drives, said that the money for the summer camps would not be available otherwise.

To Consolidated Battalion Chief Spike Newby, the boot drive is a way to help young burn victims lead normal lives.

“We want to support those people and to support the research for burn treatment,” Newby said.

“It’s important because burn victims are very self-conscious, and that awkward feeling makes it hard for them to be in public. At the camp, they are not looked at as if there’s something wrong with them.”

HOW TO HELP:

Local firefighters will be seeking donations Saturday in the following locations:

Grass Valley

Nevada County Consolidated and Grass Valley firefighters will be:

• In front of Kmart on McKnight Way

• By Raley’s on Freeman Lane

• At the Fowler Center on Nevada City Highway

Nevada City

Nevada City firefighters will be at the corner of Ridge Road and Zion Street.

South county

Higgins Area firefighters will be at Longs Drugs, at the corner of Highway 49 and Combie Road.

North San Juan

North San Juan firefighters will be roaming downtown.

Rough and Ready

Rough and Ready firefighters will be at the Rough and Ready Market.

Penn Valley

Penn Valley firefighters will be at the Lake Wildwood shopping center.

Colfax

Ophir Hill and Peardale-Chicago Park firefighters will be at the “Y” intersection of Brunswick Road and Highway 174.


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