Public Education & Prevention

Scald Prevention Class

The Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation is proud to offer The National Scald Prevention    Campaign right here in Kern County.  This program is the result of two years of research, planning and design by the Federation of Burn Foundations, the Prevention Committee of the American Burn Association, the IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters), the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Safe Kids, Inc. (formerly Home Safety Council).


Over 500,000 scald burns occur in the US every year. Of the children in the burn centers across the country, about 65% of them have been scalded or burned by contact with hot objects, not by flames. Scalds are also a high risk for older adults. What most people fail to realize is that hot liquids burn just like fire, and seniors and young children have more complications because of their thinner skin and susceptibility to infection. Our goal will be to raise awareness of the risks and educate people about safe actions.  Increasing the public’s awareness of how dangerous hot liquids and steam can be will help reduce the number of injuries each year. We will be working closely with the Grossman Burn Center at SJCH to spread the word about how to keep your family safe from scalds, as well as other fire and burn hazards.


For class opportunities for your group, please contact Captain Chris Bowles with The Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation at



Juvenille Fire Setter Program Support

Dancing flames and colorful glowing embers hold great attraction for many people. But for some children, that fascination may turn into intentional and repeated fire-setting behaviors. There is growing concern throughout the United States over the number of fires started by young children and adolescents. Fires are the number one cause of death in the home for children under five, of which one-third of these children died in fires they started. It is natural for a child to express interest in fire. Curiosity about fire is part of a child’s growth process, especially between the ages of 2 and 9. By understanding what circumstances lead children to start fires, and by following a few basic fire safety practices, you can reduce the chances of your child starting destructive fires intentionally. For example, the majority of fires set by young children are set out of curiosity or experiment.


Safety tips

These tips will help children and families stay safe.

  • Keep matches, lighters, candles, fireworks, and other dangerous items locked and out of the reach of children.
  • Teach children that these items are tools, not toys, and not for children to use.
  • Teach children that if they find matches or lighters, they should not touch them, but get an adult to pick them up and put them away.


The Bakersfield City Fire Department in partnership with The Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation, offer a quarterly Juvenile Fire-Setter intervention class at no cost for children ranging in age between two and seventeen.    If your child has participated, or shown significant curiosity with fire play and you are interested in more information concerning our class please contact firefighter Ben Henggeler at .

Survivor Services

Journey Back

Everyone can imagine the student’s fears and concerns about returning to school following a burn injury.   The Bakersfield Firefighter’s Burn Foundation in partnership with the Grossman Burn Team at SJCH is proud to offer the Phoenix Society’s Journey Back Program.    Firefighter’s from the Bakersfield Fire Department and members of the Grossman Burn team attend the child’s school either prior to the survivor returning or on the survivors first day back to school to inform and educate the student body on the child’s progress, limitations and courage during their recent injury.


The Journey Back is designed to:


  • Assist with the transition back to school and empower the returning student.
  • Inform faculty of the story of the returning student, demystify the injury for the student body, and encourage empathy and tolerance to differences.
  • Offer information on prevention of fires/burns.
  • Provide tools to encourage positive social skills and coping techniques for the returning student and classmates.



Champ Camp sponsorships

One significant aspect of our mission involves sending burn survivors to an annual summer camp (Champ Camp) which helps build self-confidence and creates lifelong friendships.  Champ Camp is a one week summer camp for burn survivors, ranging in ages from 5-16. This camp environment allows survivors the opportunity to be among other kids in a safe, accepting and fun setting.


Since the opening of the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital in 2009; the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation has fostered a unique relationship and long term connection with our local burn survivors.  Over 45% of our local Grossman Burn Center patients are children with burn injuries, much higher than the national average. Due to these sobering statistics, our camp sponsorships have more than doubled in the past few years and we unfortunately foresee this trend continuing.


The BFBF has committed to teaming up with the Alisha Ann Ruch Burn Foundation and sponsoring all Kern County burn survivors to  Champ Camp.  Camp sponsorship costs $750 per child to attend.    Due to the increased numbers of local survivors, we are seeking to partner with local companies, organizations and service groups in sponsoring more kids to Burn Camp.


We would be honored to share further the amazing experience our local kids enjoy every year at Champ Camp,   It is a life changing experience for each child.


Please contact the BFBF if you are interested in learning more about this opportunity to help our local burn survivors.



SOAR partner

SOAR is a program designed by the Phoenix Society which provides formal training for survivors and family volunteers so they may offer one-on-one support to burn survivors and loved ones affected by a burn injury.  Our hospital based SOAR program at The Grossman Burn Center at SJCH provides a way for you to speak to someone who has traveled a similar road.


Why peer support?


  • At times during your stay at the burn center you may benefit from talking with others who have had similar experiences and types of injuries.  It can be comforting to know you are not alone.
  • Peer supporters do not provide medical advice or information but do often provide a sense of hope and a listening ear for the patient and their loved ones.
  • Talking with someone who has been directly impacted by a burn injury can be reassuring as they have similar experiences and are familiar with what lies ahead.


Please contact The Bakersfield Firefighter’s Burn Foundation to be introduced to a SOAR volunteer or to learn about other Survivor Support programs being offered at The Grossman Burn Center at SJCH.