For the past few years, Oliver Oickle has wanted nothing more than to be a firefighter.
The six-year-old Langford youngster constantly walks around in a firefighter’s uniform, complete with a firefighter’s hat and badge that he received from his grandfather, who was a firefighter with the Dartmouth Fire Service in Halifax.
Oliver’s collection of firefighter play mobiles and Lego is large enough for even Colwood Fire Rescue’s mascot Sparky the Fire Dog to be envious of.
“[I want to be a firefighter] because my papa was one,” Oliver said. “When we were at the cottage in Halifax, I used a hose to put a campfire out.”
Some of Oliver’s dreams came true on Sunday, as he got to be a junior firefighter for the day during Colwood Fire Rescue’s annual open house at the fire hall on Metchosin Road.
Alongside his twin brother, Benjamin (who wants to become a police officer) and eight-year-old brother Findlay, Oliver had the chance to try a fire extinguisher, a fire hose and got to take a ride on a fire truck. The event also included demonstrations, a bouncy castle, as well as hot dogs and refreshments.
“It was really fun,” said Findlay, who along with his family attended View Royal Fire Rescue’s open house on Saturday as well. “[My favourite part was] using the hose and the fire truck rides.”
Open house organizer and firefighter Kyle Smith said the department saw between 350 to 400 people attend the event.
“For the kids to be able to come and see firefighters in their gear and see what it’s all about and know that firefighters aren’t scary, we’re here to help – that’s the big message here,” said Smith, noting 34 volunteer firefighters were on hand to help.
“It’s our one event where the public gets to see what we do for work, check out all our different equipment and see the importance of the fire department in the community.”