Schaumburg firefighter running marathon for burn survivors

  • Schaumburg firefighter Jason Brizzell will be running his first marathon Sunday in Chicago as part of Team Phoenix, which raises money and awareness for burn survivors.

      Schaumburg firefighter Jason Brizzell will be running his first marathon Sunday in Chicago as part of Team Phoenix, which raises money and awareness for burn survivors. Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

 
By Joel Ebert
Updated 10/7/2010 1:45 PM

As Fire Prevention Week comes to a close, a Schaumburg firefighter is set to run the Chicago Marathon on Sunday to help raise awareness for burn survivors.

Jason Brizzell, a 33, will be running as a member of Team Phoenix, giving the full-time firefighter an opportunity to step out of his usual role.

 

"We help people at their worst, he said. "The race gave me an opportunity to help people in a different way.

Team Phoenix was formed by The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, a Michigan-based national nonprofit organization that offers support to those who suffer burn injuries. The group works with survivors and their families, health professionals, and burn centers to help prevent injuries and improve quality of care.

Brizzell, one of seven Team Phoenix members from the Chicago area, is a New York native who moved to the Mundelein in 2003 when he joined the Mundelein Fire Department. He joined the Schaumburg Fire Department in 2006, but still works part-time in Mundelein.

Ranging in age from 19 to 51, the 13-member team has raised over $21,000 since it formed in March. The money will be used to offer recovery resources for burn survivors, such as support programs and training for burn survivor counselors.

With October being Fire Prevention Month and the marathon falling on the last day of Fire Prevention Week, Phoenix Society board member Peg Paul formed the charity team to raise awareness about the group's efforts.

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"What's nice about these charity teams is the Chicago Marathon is huge, Paul said. "When you can take an event like that and attach it to a charity, that in itself will increase awareness.

Brizzell, who will be running in his first marathon Sunday, is supported by his wife, Marjorie, and their two children.

"Its definitely a worthy cause, said Marjorie Brizzell. "To run it for himself, that's one thing, but to run it for others, that's another thing.

Team Phoenix hopes to participate in next year's race, and Brizzell plans to be there with them.

"This is a great way to give back to people that have been affected (by fires), he said.