Hook and Ladder BBQ: how our fundraiser helps burn survivors

Compassion Corner

It’s a barbecue for a good cause.

Wednesday is our annual Hook and Ladder fundraiser where KGET teams up with local firefighters to raise money for burn survivors.

The Bakersfield and Kern County Fire departments both have burn foundations.

“We respond to calls every day, and most calls we never get any closure,” said Trevor Martinusen of the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Through the foundation, he says, “We’re able to watch patients from the time of the incident all the way to recovery, and with many of our survivors, 20 years down the road, we still have these relationships built.”

It’s the opportunity to follow up with the people they’ve rescued.

“We’ve taken guys here to the burn unit so they can actually see the healing that’s going on with the patient that they ran during the emergency,” said Josh Dodson of the Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivors Trust.

Both foundations offer financial follow-up too, “By helping to support the families while they’re in the burn unit, whether it be a little tricycle for a little three-year-old who’s not moving his legs at this time, to fuel costs to be able to get to follow-up appointments,” Martinusen said.

That was the case of cousins Adrian Garcia and Manuel Castruita, who were burned by an explosion while playing outside.

They were rushed to the Grossman Burn Center.

“It’s really remarkable to see the patients and the family members really lean on each other for support to realize that this is something you can overcome,” said Rachael Williams, the associate medical director at Grossman.

Our Hook and Ladder is happening Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It will be right outside our station at Compassion Corner, on 22nd and L streets. Dignity Health is our Compassion Corner Partner.

Five dollars will get you a burger, chips, a cookie, and water.

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