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Help Firefighters Fill The Boot This Weekend

by Karen Goff — August 28, 2014 at 11:00 am 7 Comments

Fill the boot/Credit: MDAFairfax County Fire Rescue personnel will be out on the streets in Reston and the rest of Fairfax County this weekend as part of the annual Fill The Boot campaign. The fundraiser benefits the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Fairfax County has been taking part in the fundraiser for 30 years, and for the pst eight has consistently finished among the top three in the nation for amount collected during the weekend campaign. Fairfax has frequently topped  such large cities as Houston and Los Angeles.

During the 2013 Labor Day weekend campaign, Fairfax County collected over $602,000 for Greater Washington MDA, which was the highest amount collected by any municipality in the US and Canada in 2013. It also was the highest amount collected at any time in the 59-year history of Fill the Boot nationwide.

Firefighters will be out with the boots from Friday to Monday at controlled intersections all over Fairfax County and the Town of Clifton.

Proceeds raised during the  campaign help support MDA services and research programs in the Washington, D.C. area, including MDA’s annual camp for kids affected by neuromuscular disease and outpatient clinics for people with more than 40 neuromuscular diseases at Children’s National Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital.

Photo courtesy of MDA

  • Al Z Heimer

    I am concerned. I am very pleased that our fire fighters have raised significant amounts of money for MDA, just as I would be if they raised it for most charities in need.

    However, I see a lot of County fire equipment sitting by various intersections, no less than 2 trucks and several other vehicles at one intersection and a similar number at another. Why would this equipment be at the intersection if the firefighters were off the clock?

    My concern is that the County might be paying the salaries of these firefighters while they are gathering collections for MDA. I saw as many as 8 firefighters at one intersection and similar number at another. If on salary, for six days of soliciting it costs the county roughtly $12,000 for 2 intersections. Spread that across our county and it is a huge cost the taxpayer shouldn’t bear.

    Here’s hoping that they are on their own time. I wish the equipment was where it belonged and not at these fund gathering situations. Please let me know if they are on their own time.

    • .Ondajob4u

      No need to be concerned. All the firefighter’s and equipment you see are in service and on duty. They monitor their radios and simply respond from the collection point instead of from the firehouse. No service is being sacrificed. These firefighters are simply giving up any down time or training time and some administrative tasks that they will have to play catch up on after the weekend. The sites are selected and coordinated with other stations in order to maintain proper spacing and coverage. Once again these guys are going above and beyond their normal responsibilities!

      • Al Z Heimer

        Now I am more than concerned. They are paid while gathering collections for a charity instead of doing other things they are paid to do. They will have to do training (paid) at another time. It’s flat WRONG, and it is the use of government labor. If they were doing on there own time, that’s different. I am flat against it, i.e., using government resources to collect for a private charities. The costs are outrageous when spread out through the community. It’s also probably against the law as it is in the Federal Government. There is very limited involvement by Federal employees in their annual charity drives. Sometimes Federal employees get to involved and need to be canceled.

        • Rational Reston

          Wow. That’s an incredibly jaded (and grammatically flawed) view.

          I think we can trust the firefighters that they’re doing their duties. My family and I were at an intersection where they were collecting, when an obvious call came in. All of the firefighters ran to their truck and were on their way to help. Responding from the station or from a corner in their district is really no different.

          International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) runs this charity drive, the drive may be part of the union’s agreement with the county.

          They’re professionals, I trust that any duties they perform during normal days are duties that they perform ahead of the weekend with knowlege that they’ll be adding this duty for the weekend. It’s on the calendar, and thus fairly easy to plan for.

          • Al Z Heimer

            I don’t fault the firefighters, but those who authorize on-duty solicitation. Too bad you can see why this is wrong. “Jaded?” I think you found the wrong adjective. I’m sorry my grammar wasn’t up to your standards in expressing, quickly, my concern with misuse of county resources. Other charities might also gripe that if the county can support MDA, why not my charity.

          • Rational Reston

            You took the time to write 5 paragraphs, you never bothered to take a look at what you wrote before hitting enter. I’m sorry your grammar was off, but it’s not a hard thing to do.

            You don’t fault the firefighters? You just just did in your two previous posts by insinuating that they’re performing duties that are not necessary or improper.

            The fundraising is through IAFF, not through the county, though obviously the county (and other municipalities nationwide) implicitly endorse it by allowing it. Many times, this type of union activity is allowed during work hours.

            It’s a nice gesture, why throw stones at it? There must be at least a thousand other ways the county may misuse money or resources.

          • Al Z Heimer

            I am sorry that my paragraphs were not clear enough for you. I fault the county supervisors of the firefighters or others who authorized it, not the firefighter on the street. IAFF has no authority in this matter, and you know that. Yes, it is nice gesture, a gesture that costs that taxpayer. It also playing favorites over other charities who would like the same deal. But you and maybe the majority think it’s okay to use taxpayer resources to benefit someone’s favorite charity or to get on the bandwagon. Doing all these good deeds doesn’t make it right. We taxpayers are overburdened as it is because we pay for many of our own roads because Virginia won’t fund them as they do for the rest of the state. Every bit of abuse needs to be out in the open and discussed. If there is a legal way to use county resources for a charitable organization, so be it.

            Oh, and suppose there is a thousand other ways that the county might misuse resources. Your point is to let the ones you like off the hook. Yeah, that’s fair.

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