Firefighters hope residents ‘Fill the Boot’

By on September 4, 2009

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Local communities have a long history of supporting the Elburn Fire Department, which is asking for help again this month with its Fill the Boot campaign, firefighter Matt Hansen said.

On Friday and Saturday, Sept. 11-12, firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians will stand in traffic at three local intersections, conducting a Fill the Boot campaign to raise money for the Elburn and Countryside Fire Department.

Fire Department employees will be stationed at the intersections of Route 47 and Route 38, and at North and South Millcreek and Fabyan Parkway with their uniform boots in hand, accepting donations.

The department will hold the Fill the Boot campaign this year instead of the Elburn Days raffle it has conducted annually for many years. The raffle helped the department purchase new technology, such as thermal imaging cameras, as well as enhance its training program, Hansen said. The department did not hold the raffle this year because with the state of the economy, it was not able to obtain enough donated prizes from local businesses.

Hansen said he hopes the Fill the Boot campaign will make up for the lack of a raffle this year. The proceeds could help the department buy automatic-lift cots for its ambulances in the future, at a cost of about $10,000 each. Hansen said that with the cots, firefighters would reduce their risk of back injuries. He said the most common injury firefighters sustain on the job is to their backs, from having to lift beds with patients into the ambulance.

The department participated in the national Fill the Boot campaign a few years ago, and residents were extremely supportive, Hansen said. The department donated the proceeds to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Elburn Food Pantry, Fox Valley Hospice and other charitable causes. The department will use some of the money it raises from Fill the Boot this year for charitable donations as well, Hansen said.