Executive director Jason Hodge of the Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation (third from left) shares the proceeds from this year’s Sausage Fest with members of Oak Bay Sea Rescue. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Summer’s Sausage Fest raises $8,000 for Oak Bay Sea Rescue

Proceeds from annual firefighter’s fundraiser goes to new flotation vests

For meat lovers, the Oak Bay Firefighter’s annual summer Sausage Fest fundraiser at Willows Beach is like Christmas in June.

And now as we reach December and enter the winter holiday season, Jason Hodge of the Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation was able to present a cheque for $8,000 to this year’s chosen recipient, Oak Bay Sea Rescue based in Oak Bay Marina.

“It took this long to get everything together and be able to make the donation,” Hodge said.

READ MORE: Oak Bay Sausage Fest to buoy sea rescue program

Oak Bay Sea Rescue is using the money to buy about 20 brand new, high-tech personal flotation devices from Canadian maker Salus. They sell for $350 each.

“The jackets go over our dry suits and double as utility vests,” said Jerry Hunter, the group’s deputy station manager and a coxswain. “What’s also great about them is they are adjustable in size, our biggest member or our smallest can wear the same one.”

Each year the Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation puts the money raised at Sausage Fest to a different cause. This year was the fourth annual. They’ve now raised $36,000 in total.

READ MORE: Monterey installs playground climber to kids delight

Almost all 40 members of the marine group and the 26 members of Oak Bay Firefighters volunteered at the June 22 event on Willows Beach.

Hunter said the Oak Bay Sea Rescue and Fire Departments train together at least once a year with a focus on scenarios such as how to transfer an injured patient from the water to land.

“We run an exercise at Cattle Point, and in my seven years there has been three calls where I’ve personally been on shift to work with them,” said Hodge.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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