CUMMING, Ga. — The annual boot drive benefiting the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation is underway, but a few changes have taken place.

“In years past, the public was used to seeing us in traffic, out in various busy intersections around the county,” Jason Shivers, Division Chief for the Forsyth Co. Fire Dept., said. “It had just become too dangerous. A lot of metro Atlanta has really grown recently. Traffic is continuing to be a problem for a lot of commuters, and we realize that we were both impending the flow of traffic simply by our presence in the intersections, and more importantly it was becoming unsafe for our troops to be out in that traffic flow.”

He says the decision was made to pull fire crews out of the streets and instead place them in front of stores across the area.

“A lot of the local Walmarts, a lot of the local Krogers, and various other businesses have been again very easy to work with, very gracious and letting us come on to their property and perform these boot drives,” Shivers said. “We will be doing this the next several weekends. Anything we can do to encourage the public to come out and visit with us and drop some change or a spare dollar bill into the boots would be very appreciated.”

Shivers says not to worry though. Just because local firefighters are collecting funds outside area businesses, they will still be ready for action.

“We work very hard to keep our fire companies in the area so we're able to respond to emergencies,” he said. “It's very important to note these companies are not out of service. I want the public to realize they are protected as always.”

Weather permitting, Forsyth County fire crews will be participating in the boot drive this weekend, then again on May 17 and 18.

To learn more about the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, or to make a donation online, click here.

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