Athlone Travel owner Elizabeth Smith

Athlone Travel owner Elizabeth Smith

Community opens hearts and wallets for Oak Bay firefighters

New equipment funded by donations

A fundraiser spearheaded by Athlone Travel raised $13,750 for the Oak Bay fire department.

The fundraiser was held in December and money raised will go toward purchasing non-essential equipment, such as a new Jaws of Life, thermal imaging camera and a gas monitor, said fire chief Dave Cockle.

“These are tools we definitely need and needed to upgrade from our existing ones,” Cockle said, explaining some current equipment is more than 20 years old and there isn’t enough money in the budget to replace it. “The community has really stepped in to help.”

Athlone Travel agent Peter Wheaton came up with the idea to fundraise for the firefighters after a longtime client purchased a defibrillator for the department after her husband died from a heart attack.

“Her husband had a heart condition and he had two heart attacks,” Wheaton said. “She was amazed by the quick response of the fire department when he had his first heart attack, as once she put the phone down, they were there. The second time unfortunately, they were not able to resuscitate him.”

The travel agency often fundraises for various causes, so Wheaton approached owner Elizabeth Smith about supporting the fire department. Smith then contacted Cockle and he sent her a wish list of items  such as pelican lights and an infrared camera, that were in need of replacement.

Smith publicized the fundraising effort in her travel agency’s newsletter, in the local media and the company store window with a firefighter themed display. She was amazed by the response.

“One fellow came in and gave us $50 and he doesn’t live in B.C.,” Smith said. “He used to be a firefighter before and he saw the community coming together to raise funds and he said he wanted to donate.”

Smith said there was another person who canvassed his neighbourhood and collected $6,000. Due to the overwhelming response, the travel agency decided to continue fundraising for the fire department.

“We hope to donate a similar (amount) again,” Smith said.

Cockle added that fire equipment is expensive. A new gas monitor costs $3,000 and flashlights that are spark and explosion proof costs $200 each.

Just Posted

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read