FOR RELEASE: 6/3/2014Contact: John Cappiello, (203) 384-3637

Bridgeport firefighters top $116,000 in fundraising for burn center

Bridgeport Firefighters Local 834 recently presented the proceeds of its latest United for Recovery fundraiser to the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital. This year’s donation of nearly $50,000 brings the total amount raised in the annual event's three years to more than $116,000.

donation check
A number of Bridgeport firefighters joined in presenting the latest proceeds of the annual “United for Recovery” fundraiser to the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital. Holding the check (l-r) are fundraiser chairs Melissa Emanuel, a burn center nurse, and her husband, Fire Capt. Sal Emanuel; and pumper engineer Sheila Vega, who was a burn center patient in 2012. At far left are Bridgeport Hospital Foundation President Steve Jakab, Chief Operating Officer Norm Roth, burn center surgeon Roselle Crombie, MD; and pumper engineer Zoltan Szabo, fundraiser co-chair.

The proceeds supported the construction and ongoing maintenance of the new family hospitality suite added to the burn center as part of an extensive modernization that was completed in 2012. The idea for the suite was inspired by firefighters.

The United for Recovery fundraiser has been held all three years at Vazzano’s Four Seasons in Stratford, with an average attendance of nearly 500 people per year, including many local, state and federal government officials.

“Ongoing support of the burn center from the firefighting community, especially in Bridgeport, has been exceptional,” said Steve Jakab, president of the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation. “These are men and women who know first-hand about the high level of expertise and resources needed to treat burn patients.”

Firefighters throughout Connecticut have raised more than $250,000 toward the $1.5 million burn center renovation project. In addition to the hospitality suite, the burn center projects included upgrades to patient rooms and treatment areas, expansion of the nursing station and staff work area, installation of a dedicated patient elevator between the burn center and operating room, and construction of a new entrance to the center.

Established in the early 1970s, the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the state’s only American College of Surgeons-verified burn care facility, serving nearly 200 inpatients and more than 800 outpatients each year.

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Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.