Giving burns the 'boot'
Barrow firefighters raise nearly $19,000 with drive

WINDER - Dropping a little change in that waving firefighter's boot at red lights and clogged intersections can make a big difference.

Just ask the Barrow County Fire Department.

Recognized last month under the Gold Dome in Atlanta, department officials raised nearly $19,000 last year for their annual "Give Burns the Boot" campaign.

Fire Department Lt. Ernest Weant, who coordinated the drive, was humbled by the events of the 37th Annual Firefighters Recognition Day held Feb. 2 at the Georgia State Capitol.

Barrow residents "are the ones that made this a successful fundraiser," Weant said. "(They) have stepped up for years to help the Burn Foundation and their work."

Proceeds from the local boot drive are channeled to the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, whose mission is three-fold: educate the public on burn awareness and prevention; support medical facilities across Georgia in the care of burns; and assist burn survivors in recovery.

Despite the accolades, Weant isn't one to dwell on his successes too long.

"I know when we conduct the campaign this year, we'll have another successful event," he said.