An ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a recent surge in cases canceled the 8th annual Fall September barbecue event  that supports critical classes for fire rescuers. A virtual campaign now underway for the month of September is seeking community support to ensure first responders receive the training and maintain and enhance skills. 

While there will be no grilling, Islamorada Firefighters Benevolent Association’s eighth annual barbecue fundraiser goes on, albeit virtual. The fundraiser is vital, as it benefits continuing education classes from outside experts all while providing rescuers new medical protocols and equipment.

For instance, funds supported Islamorada Fire Rescue’s purchase and use of the Handtevy Pediatric system after going through specialized pediatric training. Treating the emergent pediatric patient is difficult and time sensitive for even the most advanced healthcare providers. The Handtevy Pediatric System is the leading platform designed to give clinical teams rapid access to lifesaving dosing, equipment and drip information while documenting every critical action accurately. 

Money raised also support active shooter training from the Gordon Center, University Of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

“The best way to prepare the men and women in our department to meet the needs of our community is to educate them from the best educators available,” said Chief Terry Abel. 

The fundraising goal is $8,000. Sponsor levels include platinum, $1,000; gold, $500; silver, $250; and any donation, bronze. Those wishing to donate can call Larry Zettwoch, Islamorada Firefighters Benevolent Association treasurer, at 502-386-7598  or donate to IFBA, 86800 Overseas Highway, Islamorada FL 33036.

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Jim McCarthy believes in community reporting, giving back and life on the water. A workout fanatic, diver and a bogey-golfer, Jim loves chicken wings, Marvel movies and sports.