ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Stateline runners braved the heat as Rockford Fire held its 19th annual 911 3k Saturday.

The run gave the community an opportunity meet some firefighters, get some exercise and, of course, raise money for a good cause.

“We had a great turnout,” said Mike Rotolo of the Rockford Fire Department. “Great weather, we like it this way, I think the runners would rather it be a little warm. Great turnout, 275 runners today.”

That turnout is the highest since the pandemic.

The event is a big fundraiser for the fire department’s education efforts like teaching home safety, says Division Chief Luis Duran.

“Not only do we respond to emergencies, but we also do it on the non-emergency aspect that’s being out in the community, being out educating people, being out installing smoke detectors and doing everything we can to make our homes safe, as safe as we can.”

The funds also go to education materials like fire extinguisher props and handouts.

Thomas Baker took home first place in the 80 and over group.

“It’s super,” he said. ” Oh, it’s really super. This is probably my eight or ninth year.”

The run also raised money for Camp I Am Me, the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance’s camp is for children who are burn survivors.

Rockford Fire will be able to send one child to the one-week event.