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

Saanich police are looking for a man who exposed himself Saturday night

The incident exposure happened at the intersection of Feltham Road and Shelbourne Street

Readers Theatre returns to Victoria’s Emanu-El

Born at Congregation Emanu-El’s 2013 Arts Festival, Bema Productions is back for its fifth season

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in Victoria as part of global Women’s March for equality

‘End Violence Against Women’ march theme for 2019

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

Most Read