In 1998, Dr. Jay Yelon, Director of the Evans-Haynes Burn Center at VCU Medical Center, contacted local firefighters about fostering support for the burn center. In turn, representatives from IAFF locals in Chesterfield County, Henrico County, City of Hopewell, and the City of Richmond began planning the structure of the foundation. Shortly thereafter, The Old Dominion Professional Firefighters Burn Foundation was formed. The Foundation was led by a board of directors representing these four IAFF locals.
In the next year, the foundation added representation from IAFF locals in the City of Colonial Heights, Fort Lee, Hanover County, and City of Petersburg. With the addition of these members, the board of directors expanded to include all IAFF locals in the Richmond region. Since its inception, the Foundation has been led by a dedicated group of firefighters who volunteer their time and energy. Also in 1999, the foundation became a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.
With the help of Dr. Yelon and the staff of the Evans-Haynes Burn Center, the foundation was able to make immediate contributions toward enhancing burn care in the Central Virginia region. The foundation is greatly indebted to the Burn Center physicians, nurses, and other staff for their commitment to assisting our efforts. Their continued support is a vital link to the Foundation’s accomplishments.
The Foundation’s main efforts surround raising funds for programs that support burn survivors and prevent burns. This fundraising helps to meet the mission of providing burn prevention education and assisting burn victims through collaboration with area fire departments, healthcare institutions, and other community partners with interests in reducing burn injuries. Through these partnerships, the following are some of the Foundation’s accomplishments:
- Support for the Evans-Haynes Burn Center
- Purchase of a new burn shower
- Annual funding for burn physician fellowship
- Funding for staff training and ABA Conference attendance
- Burn Survivor Sunday sponsor
- Funding for remodeling of a waiting room, children’s toy room, and conference room
Another important focus, of efforts, is ongoing sponsorship of the Central Virginia Burn Camp. Held in in Charlottesville, Virginia, the camp is free to all participants. This camp gives juvenile burn survivors an opportunity to gather with peer survivors and to share similar memories and stories of survival. The Foundation has provided financial support, camp T-shirts and coats, food and cooks for the camp, and transportation. For many of these children, this is the only opportunity in which they can bond and have fun with a group of peer burn survivors.
In 2019, the Foundation continues to be led by a dedicated group of firefighters from across the Richmond, Virginia region. If you are interested in helping us to meet our mission, please contact us.