Oak Bay Kiwanis member Roy Patt works the new Jaws of Life Oak Bay Fire Department purchased thanks to fundraising efforts of the Kiwanis and Athlone Travel. Together the two groups raised $27

Oak Bay Kiwanis member Roy Patt works the new Jaws of Life Oak Bay Fire Department purchased thanks to fundraising efforts of the Kiwanis and Athlone Travel. Together the two groups raised $27

Editorial: Oak Bay pulls together for public safety

Picture yourself in an automobile accident where, through no fault of your own, unable to get out.

Picture yourself in an automobile accident where, through no fault of your own, you’re pinned inside your vehicle, shaken up, a little in shock, and unable to get out.

Until recently, if you were in Oak Bay when that happened, you may have had to wait for firefighters from neighbouring Saanich or Victoria to come pry open the twisted metal.

Oak Bay Fire Department celebrated a true community success story Friday, welcoming Roy Patt from Oak Bay Kiwanis and Liz Smith, from Athlone Travel, to come experience first-hand the results of their significant fundraising efforts.

Through individual campaigns, Kiwanis and Athlone had raised $27,000 for the fire department, allowing it to replace outdated equipment that was not up to the standards of today’s vehicles, explained Fire Chief Dave Cockle.

“It’s a significant benefit to the community because we no longer have to rely upon mutual aid for the rescue of our citizens,” Cockle said during a demonstration of the new equipment at the firehall.

Not only used for vehicle crashes, the modern, quiet, cordless equipment is also invaluable for access to buildings. “All of these tools are developed to give firefighters access to anything,” Cockle explained.

According to Smith, once the community heard about the need, donations flowed in, not only from locals, but also from those in neighbouring municipalities and even out of town visitors – all appreciating the efforts of local emergency service personnel and the risks they take to keep us all safe.

To all responsible, donors, volunteers, fundraisers and firefighters, we say thank you.