BRAWLEY – The Brawley Firefighters Association held their annual Code 3.1 5K Fire Run this morning at the Brawley Fire Station No. 2. This was the group’s third yearly run in support of the cancer foundation, Code 3 For A Cure, which provides financial assistance and support to firefighters across the United States.
The run went from 8 am to 12 pm with between 60-90 runners participating, and many others attendng to cheer and donate to the cause. Participants were able to choose between performing a 5K run or one mile walk. The main goal of this event is to promote a healthy and active community, Brawley Fire Captain Eloy Martinez said.
“We want to keep people moving and bring our community together,” said Martinez.
The “fun run” (meaning there is no time limit) spanned the East side of Brawley where Brawley Fire Station No. 2 is located, and upon completion, participants were treated to vendors, inflatable jumpers, hot dogs, and music from a local band. The event was free, but a donation was requested as a designated portion of the funds raised through the run went to support the Code 3 For A Cure Foundation.
Lorenzo Abundiz, a firefighter and engineer from Santa Ana, started the Code 3 Foundation in 2008 after battling three different types of highly aggressive cancers. “Code 3” is the term used to evoke the highest level of response in emergency situations by emergency vehicles, and is the mission of the foundation. Abundiz was present at the race, cheering on the runners enthusiastically.
Both the Brawley Firefighters Association and the Code 3 For A Cure Foundation share a vision of supporting the welfare of firefighters through health and awareness. The risk of being diagnosed with cancer is greater for firefighters than the general population because of the deadly carcinogens their line of work exposes them to, the Code 3 Foundation asserts.
Martinez said this event has been “great” for numerous reasons. Planning the event has served to help bond and involve the new hires, and according to Martinez, each one of the firefighters “came together” to complete their different roles.
“The guys did great,” he said.
Martinez also believes in the event because it has brought members of the community together, and helped create relationships between the firefighters and the community.
“It’s great because you get to meet the community,” Martinez stated.
Randall McDaniel, a Brawley native and firefighter for two years, agreed with Martinez. As a new officer, helping with this event was a great way to engage the community and connect with fellow officers, McDaniel said.
Mark Limon, 26, of Brawley, was the first to finish the run, with a time of 16 minutes, 12 seconds. An avid runner, he enjoyed the course and found this 5K to be special because of the fun environment surrounding it. He credited the fun atmosphere to the presence of the Brawley Union High School Marching Band.
The band is directed by Amy Dailey and came out in support of participants and firefighters, sending the runners off to lively music, and greeting them with music upon their completion of the race.
“Mrs. Dailey has been great,” Captain Martinez praised, “she has come out to support us every year.”