It’s a day firefighter Bonnie Fiala looks forward to every year.
On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Fiala, alongside firefighters from the Professional Fire Fighters of Greater Victoria, got to see the results of a year’s worth of fundraising efforts.
The group, which includes the Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria and Esquimalt fire departments, donated $25,000 to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, which will be used to purchase a pediatric cardiac ultrasound for Victoria General Hospital in View Royal.
The equipment will help diagnose and monitor heart conditions in newborns, infants and children.
“It’s so heartwarming to see some of the children our pledge has helped,” said Fiala, a firefighter with the Saanich department.
“The equipment we are funding allows children and their families to overcome critical health challenges and go on to live full and healthy lives. We are proud to do everything we can do help our hospital provide the best possible care.”
Following the presentation, kids from the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units at VGH, including 11-year-old Nevaeh Malcolm, presented firefighters with a Valentine’s Day card and had the chance to explore a firetruck.
“I think it’s pretty amazing that they put in all that money to help kids in need,” said Nevaeh, who spent three days making the red and pink sticker-covered card to give to the firefighters.
“We just wanted to show that we appreciate them.”
The funds were part of the firefighters’ pledge to donate $250,000 to the foundation over a 10-year period. During the last eight years, firefighters have raised $175,000 through annual events such as Rock and Roll for Little Souls in Saanich, Rib Fest in Esquimalt and Sausage Fest in Oak Bay.