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Rockdale firefighters give burns the boot
Rockdale County firefighters collected nearly $12,000 in May during this year's "Give Burns the Boot" campaign to support the Georgia Firefighter's Burn Foundation. This marks the 20th year the Rockdale County Fire Department participated in the boot drive.

The foundation was formed in 1982 to help burn victims in their recovery, to support burn-care medical facilities and to provide fire safety and burn prevention education. A significant portion of the funds raised during the boot drive is used to fund Camp Oo-U-La, the only camp in Georgia offered exclusively for burn-injured children.

According to the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation Web site, Camp Oo-U-La provides burn-injured children with an opportunity to enjoy recreation and social networking with others who have had similar experiences. Most of the children have visible scars, and Camp Oo-U-La offers them an escape from "the stares they live with every day."

Many of Rockdale County firefighters volunteer to staff the camp, which is free to participants who come from all over the country. Lt. Keith White has been among the most active. His wife, Cathy, is the current camp director. A member of the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department, Cathy has been participating in Camp Oo-U-La for 13 years.

"It is a full week of fun with lots of activities, and we just have a blast here," Lt. White told Rockdale County CEO and Commission Chairman Richard Oden, who recently visited the camp. Oden said the experience was inspiring and commended White and all Rockdale County firefighters for supporting the camp by participating in the boot drive and volunteering as counselors.