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Fill The Boot
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As they have every year for more than a decade, Farmington firefighters will don their turnout gear and offer their fire boots to passing motorists throughout the weekend.

The goal is to raise money in the 'Fill the Boot' campaign, with proceeds going to the Firefighters Burn Institute in Sacramento to support its programs and services.

"I have the permits all in place, everybody is signed up to work their shifts," said Farmington Fire Chief Conni Bailey.

The Presidents' Day holiday weekend is utilized for the collection effort because of the high volume of traffic typically seen during the holiday. Motorists traveling along Highway 4 and Escalon-Bellota Road are greeted by the firefighters, manning all points of the intersection. When a driver goes through and makes a donation, they receive a flier from firefighters, which they can put on their dash so they don't get asked again the next time they are driving in the area. The flier also has information about the project and the Firefighters Burn Institute.

Collection days are scheduled from Friday, Feb. 15 through Monday, Feb. 18.

Hours for the fundraising drive will be Friday, 11 a.m. to sundown; Saturday and Sunday, noon to sundown; and Monday, 10 a.m. to sundown.

"We're gearing up to try and break that $20,000 mark again," Bailey said.

Each year, the department collects thousands of dollars, with motorists tossing everything from loose change to $20 bills into the turnout boots offered by the volunteer firefighters.

"As soon as the sun goes down, we get off the streets," Bailey added, noting that the safety of the firefighters is paramount, and the collection over four days during the daylight hours brings in plenty of donations.