Forty years ago, Sacramento witnessed a terrible tragedy. During the 1972 airshow an F-86 Sabre Fighter overran the runway, flew over a levee and ran through a fence, Freeport Boulevard and an automobile before finally crashing into Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor in a ball of fire. As a result of the crash 23 people died, including 12 children, and 28 people were injured. It was one short year after this accident that the Firefighters Burn Institute was founded. Prior to that, there were no burn centers in Sacramento. Retired Captain of the Sacramento Fire Department and Executive Director of the Firefighters Burn Institute Jim Doucette says, “It was our goal to establish a burn center in our area. In 1974 U.C. Davis opened the area’s first burn center and since then our mission has expanded and we offer more services and programs including two kids camps for young burn survivors and we sponsor an adult retreat and support group for adult burn survivors”. In addition to these programs, the Firefighters Burn Institute funds continuing education and research for the medical staff at Sacramento’s two burn units, Shriners Hospital and U.C. Davis Hospital.

This Saturday November 10, 2012 the FFBI is hosting their first annual 2013 Dance On Fire Calendar Launch Party from 6:30-9:00PM at Mastagni Law Firm (1901 I Street Sacramento, CA 95811). Jim tells me, “At the launch part we will have some of the firefighters and ballet dancers that are in the calendar there to sign and sell calendars. We will also have retired Sacramento Fire Battalion Chief Jesus Romo featuring his art”. Jesus is a well-known artist who created the sculpture of the firefighter carrying his fallen brother. This sculpture is located at the California State Firefighters Memorial at the State Capital. There are no proceeds from the event and no charge to enter. The Dance On Fire Launch Party will be part of the Second Saturday Art Walk in Mid-Town. Jim explains that, “the idea for the calendar came from Nancy Garton who is on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Ballet. Proceeds from the calendar sales go to the Firefighters Burn Institute and the Sacramento Ballet equally”.

The FFBI and the Sacramento Ballet partnered to create their 2013 calendar featuring one firefighter and one ballet dancer per month. Candidates were voted and chosen by the public. Calendars are available online for $16.15 and so far the FFBI has raised $3,794 in fundraising efforts! Don’t have a calendar? No problem, they will also be for sale at the event. For more information about the Firefighters Burn Institute, the event and all the other programs they offer check out their website. For information on the Sacramento Ballet, visit their website as well. With free entry and the opportunity to meet some smoking hot (literally) firemen and women along with dancers from the Sacramento Ballet, you have no reason not to come out to Mastagni Law Firm and help the FFBI ring in their 2013 Dance on Fire Launch Party!

Words Rica Douglas

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