As you're heading home from school or work Wednesday afternoon, don't panic if it sounds like a major fire or crime has just occurred in Mill Valley as sirens blare all around you.
North Bay fire departments and members of emergency response agencies will rev up and roll through Sonoma and Marin counties Wednesday for the 15th annual North Bay Firefighter Burn Relay, a benefit for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation.
With an escort from the California Highway Patrol, a parade of trucks will roll into Mill Valley at about 4:55 p.m. and pull in front of the main Mill Valley Fire Department station at 1 Hamilton Drive for a 15-minute stop.
Every year for more than a decade, concerned residents have called 911 or the fire district office to ask what's going on.
Parents with young kids — or anybody who digs seeing the big rigs — is invited to stop by the main station at about 4:30 p.m. to get in position to see the relay parade. The annual fundraising parade of antique and modern emergency vehicles will kick off at Healdsburg Fire Department and make its way through down to the Southern Marin Fire Station 1 in Sausalito.
Along the relay route, off-duty firefighters will collect donations raised by fire and public safety agencies through annual community events such as golf tournaments, pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners and then formally present the funds to the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation.
Funds raised provide services to burn survivors and support burn prevention education programs. In honor of the 15th year of the relay, each participant will be recognized for the continued commitment to furthering the mission of the AARBF. To learn more about the foundation, check www.aarbf.org.