The Fourth Battalion Fire District raised $16,500 for the Burn Center Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to advance burn care and treatment, research, prevention and education for New York firefighters.
The Fourth Battalion, which comprises the East Rockaway, Lakeview, Lynbrook, Malverne and Rockville Centre fire departments, raises money each year for a charitable cause. This year's fundraiser, held at Rockville Centre's Alert Engine 2 quarters, was in memory of Rockville Centre FD Ex-Chief Charlie Jaeger and East Rockaway FD Ex-Chief Thomas Harding and led to the donation of $16,500 to the Burn Center Foundation.
“It’s a very rewarding thing. We know that what we do will go back to help not only residents of Nassau County but also our own people who have been hurt,” said Kevin Bien, treasurer of the battalion. “It’s a cause near and dear to our heart,” he added.
Last year, the Fourth Battalion hosted a food drive to help provide goods for the food pantry at the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.
On Dec. 3, the battalion made this trip again, leaving at 5 a.m. to visit wounded troops in Virginia and provide them with donated goods.
“As crazy as the world’s been lately, nice to do things we’ve done in the past,” Bien continued. “We came back stronger than ever,” he added, alluding to a change in pace in donations during 2020 due to restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Each year for the past 16 years, Nassau County firefighters traveled to military hospitals and wounded warrior battalions at military installations on the east coast of the U.S. to donate goods to wounded soldiers and their children.
“A lot of people think you're in the military everything's taken care of, it’s not that way,” Bien said. “Like everyone else in America, it’s hard to make ends meet. With all they’ve sacrificed for this great nation it’s the least we can do,” he added.