Vancouver Burn Fund Centre construction to start in fall

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BC burn centre

Special to Canadian Design and Construction Report

Sunday, June 15th will mark the 10th Anniversary of Car Free Days and B.C. fire fighters will be on-site to celebrate with their new neighbours. They have invited Vancouver-area residents to come out and participate in the festivities and learn about the new Burn Fund Centre to be built at 3891 Main St. at 23rd Ave.

The Burn Fund Centre will provide eight short-term stay units to meet the critical shortfall in accommodation for burn and trauma patients and their family caregivers, a news release says. The centre will also offer supportive survivor programs and resources and retail space to help fund the ongoing operation of the building. Construction will begin in fall 2014.

To date, 27 professional fire fighter Locals from across the province have contributed a total of $1.3 million to assist with the $13.1 million project.

“We’ve seen firsthand that helping with accommodation for burn and trauma survivors and their families can be one of the most significant contributions to assist survivors physically and emotionally recover and live a full life,”  says Burn Fund president Mike Hurley. “We’re determined to give burn survivors in British Columbia the best chance at recovery with this new home-away-from-home.”

“We’re so grateful that the fire fighters of our province have shown such leadership in helping us meet this critical need – they’ve raised money through a combination of community fundraisers along with personal payroll deductions.”

The province is experiencing a critical shortfall in accommodation for burn and trauma patients and their family caregivers. Patients’ health may be compromised when they have to return home sooner than medically advised or live in accommodations not suited to recovery from a burn or trauma, the news release said.

Each year almost 700 children and adults from across the province are admitted to the BCPFF Burn, Plastics and Trauma Unit at Vancouver General Hospital and BC Children’s Hospital suffering serious trauma.

Cases from outside the Lower Mainland make up 27 per cent of cases, and 60 per cent  of those are paying for private sector accommodation for an average of eight weeks.

“Burn survivors need their loved ones close for support while hospitalized and require suitable accommodation while an outpatient and highly vulnerable to infection,” says Burn Fund executive director Lisa Lacamell. “With the current accommodation shortfall its possible survivors’ recoveries might be compromised, but the new Burn Fund Centre will solve this crisis.”

More than 85 per cent of the funds needed are already secured. This includes an extraordinary $1.3 million in pledges from professional fire fighters’ union locals around the province; a donation of land from the City of Vancouver; $750,000 in donated services from Concert Properties and a $4 million investment from the provincial government.

Donations are accepted at the burnfund.org website or by phoning (604) 436-5617.

The BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund has been providing prevention and survivor support programs, and funding medical care and training for the people of British Columbia and the Yukon for almost four decades. The Burn Fund’s vision is built by more than 3,800 professional fire fighters from 53 communities in BC and the Yukon who dedicate their funds, time and expertise.

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