The Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Centre (CFBTC) is on the 3rd floor (Unit 30) at the Foothills Medical Centre located at 1403 29 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
It is the treatment referral centre for burn victims in southern Alberta, southeastern British Columbia, southwestern Saskatchewan, and northern Montana.
In July 1987 the CFBTC opened at a total cost of $1.2 million, with all funds coming from private sources. The CFBTC consists of an eight bed unit with the ability to increase to 12 and cares for over 50 patients per year, with an average length of stay of 25 days. The Centre provides treatment and therapy for burn patients as well as those who suffer from frostbite, hypothermia and other skin-loss injuries. Many of those same patients return for outpatient care, sometimes for many years depending on the severity of the injuries.
On October 29, 2003, the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Centre re-opened after extensive renovations totalling $2.55 million dollars, of which $1 million was funded through donations from the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society (CFBTS), making this facility a centre of excellence in Alberta for patients with skin injuries.
In 2016 the CFBTS presented a donation of $1.44 million; bringing the total raised since 1978 to over $8 million!
For skin injury patients, the road to recovery is often long and arduous, but with the constantly improving Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Centre their recovery will be augmented the help of first rate equipment and highly trained staff. Improvements and expansion of the CFBTC include:
Four new monitoring/isolation rooms, which allow for individualized climate controls and reversible positive/negative airflow for infection control.
Cardiac monitors, equipment panels and bed dockers were added to all the rooms for the purpose of ECG monitoring and management of equipment. Each private isolation room also features a ceiling-mounted patient lift.
The installation of a membrane air barrier to allow for higher-than-average humidity levels, hepafiltered air, and upgrades to the heating and cooling systems to optimize patient comfort.
Infection control was improved with the addition of hallway wash sinks and private rooms with individual bathrooms.
Lighting in treatment and patient rooms has been improved through the use of ceiling examining lights.
Treatment rooms have been enlarged and a state of the art shower stretcher added for improved wound treatment and ease of providing advanced pain control techniques. These rooms have also been equipped with suction and medical gases.
Redevelopment of the nurses’ station, medication room and other support areas has improved working spaces. An education room was added to facilitate educational presentations and a nurse’s lounge was added.
New televisions for diversion during treatments and entertainment for the patient during their potentially lengthy recovery.
Education is an essential part of providing excellent patient care and the donations have enabled numerous nurses to attend burn conferences throughout North America to advance their knowledge of burn practice and research.
A Quiet Room has been created in memory of Nicole Creig. The Quiet Room can be used by families visiting loved ones receiving care at the CFBTC.
The Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society’s year-round fundraising efforts have helped burn unit staff stay up-to-date with advancements in burn care and treatment. The burn unit team is comprised of highly skilled health care professionals working together to provide the highest quality care to burn patients. The following personnel are part of the team:
Burn patients are under the care of plastic surgeons. The plastic surgeons look after the physical aspects of the damage caused by burns, plus attempt to improve appearance and function to the areas affected with minimal evidence of scarring. The surgeons also supervise resident doctors who are specializing in burn care and plastic surgery, and work as part of the team to provide the patient with the best opportunity for recovery.
The patient care manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the burn care centre and coordinates the activities of the burn unit team. Registered nurses provide the bedside care and oversee all treatments the patients receive. They also provide support for the patient and their families.
The physiotherapist helps the patient regain physical function, strength and endurance through exercises, mobilization and physical aides.
The occupational therapist assists the patient in becoming more independent through therapeutic activities and special devices. They also ensures proper positioning of limbs with splints and manage scars with pressure garments and special products.
The social worker provides counseling and emotional support. They assist in practical problems such as financial assistance and discharge planning.
The dietitian ensures the patient receives a high calorie, high protein diet required for healing burn injuries.
Spiritual Care offers support for all the patients and their families regardless of religious affiliation.
The psychiatrist and the psychiatric nurse assist the patient and the family in the management and support of their mental health.
The Calgary Health Trust is the not-for-profit charitable arm of the Calgary Health Region. They are the middle party that represents the charity organization and ensures that our annual donation goes directly to the objectives set out by the CFBTS. They release the funds on a quarterly basis to the CHR, allowing them to use the money under the guidelines set out by the charity.
We designate that the funds be used to purchase new specialized equipment for the burn unit ensuring enhanced patient care. We also allow for the continuing education of burn treatment staff to remain current in new treatment techniques.
Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine (CBEM)
Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society
Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing
Dr. Biernaskie is an Assistant Professor of Stem Cell Biology and course lecturer in developmental neurobiology, cell biology, embryology and is also the coordinator for the graduate course in Regenerative Medicine. His research focuses on dermal stem cells located within hair follicles and exploiting these cells to develop novel therapies for improved wound healing after burn injury. His lab also studies peripheral glial cell biology and development of treatments for improved nervous system repair.Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine (CBEM). He is also sitting as the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing
Dr. Gabriel received his Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine as well as his MD from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000. After completing his residency in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program at the University of Alberta (2000-2005), Dr. Gabriel then moved on to participate in the Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program at the University of Texas. He also became part of the Clinical Scholar’s Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre at Dallas, and was awarded his MSc in 2010.
Dr. Gabriel practices rehabilitation medicine after burns and polytrauma. His research interests include the biology of human scarring and the quantification of human hypertrophic scars.
Dr. Duncan Nickerson earned his MD from the University of Calgary. After Plastic Surgery residency at the University of British Columbia, he was certified as a Plastic Surgeon by the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. He returned to Calgary in 2002 after completing sub-specialty training in acute and reconstructive burn surgery at the Ross Tilley Burn Centre in Toronto.
Dr. Nickerson is the Medical Director of the Calgary Firefighters’ Burn Treatment Centre at the Foothills Medical Centre, and in addition to a wide range of Plastic Surgery services, his practice is focused on reconstruction of burns and other types of traumatic injuries.
The Alberta Firefighters Burn Camp is a collaborative effort between the Edmonton and the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Societies, with tremendous support from donations and fire departments all across the Province of Alberta.
Each year, children from across Alberta and the surrounding areas congregate at Camp Easter Seals in Kananaskis Country for the annual Burn Camp. These children have either been the survivor of a burn injury themselves, or a sibling directly involved in the traumatic injury or recovery.
Within the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, these children get the opportunity to forget about their injuries even for a short while and just be a kid again. Be it a physical scar or the emotional and psychological pain suffered from a burn injury and it’s recovery, these kids get to live an action-packed week. They get to mountain bike, white-water raft, outdoor survival training, mountain/tree climb, and share stories about their journey when they became burn survivors and how they too overcame these tremendous obstacles.
With the help and support from firefighters, nurses, and camp councillors, they continue to bond & solidify friendships from past camps, networking with adults and children that are not defining them by their injuries.
Our many sponsors give this gift to the children. One week of pure excitement! With help from local volunteer fire departments, Calgary Fire Department and the Calgary Firefighters Association and the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society.
The highlight for the kids, and the firefighters and nurses actually, is the Thursday water fight! Rain or shine, everyone gears up with fire hoses, water guns, buckets or anything else that can hold water. For two hours, or until the water runs out, there is a massive firefighters versus kids water fight to end all water fights! It is an incredible time to remind the kids that they are still kids.
The annual Burn Camp could not be possible without your support of the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society. Please consider supporting this fantastic event.
CFBTS has renewed our Chair to Dr. Jeff Biernaskie for Skin Regeneration & Wound Healing research. Check out the announcement from the University of Calgary in the link below. https://wcm.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2019-03-14/calgary-firefighters-renew-1m-funding-skin-regeneration-research-ucalgary
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