Firefighters raise over $200,000 for kids suffering serious burns - Sydney

Published: 03 Jul 2024 03:20pm

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters and administration staff have raised a staggering amount of donations for children suffering serious burns.

The volunteer fundraisers today presented a cheque for $215,406 to the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation (SCHF) at FRNSW’s official number ‘002’ Station, The Burns Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

The significant total is the culmination of year-long efforts by FRNSW’s ‘Beat the Burn’ volunteer group, including dozens of public fundraising events such as the group’s annual five-day event in Jindabyne that allows fundraisers to cycle, mountain bike, run, hike and paddle for the cause.

FRNSW Commissioner, Jeremy Fewtrell AFSM, said he is proud of the dedication and effort his people have shown to ease the burden for the kids.

“Since 2006, ‘Beat the Burn’, formerly known as ‘400in4’, has raised over $1.3 million for the children in the Burns Unit,”, Commissioner Fewtrell said.

“This year’s fundraising total is the highest ever for ‘Beat the Burn,” he said.

“These consistent and mammoth fundraising efforts just go to show that community truly is at the heart of what we do.”

SCHF works in collaboration with FRNSW’s ‘Beat the Burn’ volunteers to determine fund allocation and ensure the money raised is as impactful as possible.

FRNSW Station Officer and Beat the Burn committee member, Daniel Austin, said the vision is for this year’s funds to go towards upskilling the nurses, allied health professionals and doctors who work across SCHF’s nine ‘Step Down’ clinics across the state.

“It's our intention that the 2024 fundraising efforts go towards bringing staff from regional clinics to Sydney for tailored, in-depth training and up-skilling,” Station Officer Austin said.

“The purpose of this training is to strengthen connections and referral pathways with the tertiary Burns Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, upskill regional staff with burns care skills to capacity build local clinicians and burns centres."

“All of this is to ensure that kids in NSW get equitable burns care, regardless of their postcode." he added.

“This would remove the need for excessive travel to Westmead, no doubt easing the burden on many families across the state.”

In previous years, ‘Beat the Burn’ fundraising has paid the wages of a specialist burns anaesthetist, burns physiotherapists and a research manager, plus funded equipment such as a laser machine that immediately identifies the depth of a burn, allowing for fast and tailored treatment options.

SCHF's Chief Product and Impact Officer, Yvonne Stewart, said the generosity of FRSNW staff and their families will continue making a positive difference to the lives of the children and families cared for by the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.

“For some kids, childhood is far from what it should be,” Stewart said.

“Instead of playdates there are appointments, instead of sleepovers there are stays, instead of firsts there can be lasts,” She added.

“No child should have to go through this, but those who do deserve our all.”

“Thanks to FRNSW’s support, we will continue having both immediate effect and long-term impact on the lives and treatment of New South Wales’s injured and ill children.”

To learn more about Beat the Burn and upcoming fundraising initiatives, visit

Media note – footage of 2024 Beat the Burn fundraising events and today’s cheque presentation can be found here: [external link]


About Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation: Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation is one of the largest and most trusted kids’ health charities in Australia and one of the largest hospital foundations in the world. It is the exclusive fundraising partner of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, which includes Sydney’s two children’s hospitals (Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead), specialised care services (Bear Cottage and the Newborn and paediatric Emergency Transport Service [NETS]) and Kids Research. SCHF’s fundraising supports approximately 159,000 children and their families directly each year.

Updated: 03 Jul 2024 03:24pm

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