Greater Victoria Firefighters Donate $25,000 to Help Fund Life-Saving Ventilator for Pediatric Patients

Greater Victoria Professional Firefighters, Victoria Hospitals Foundation Staff, and Pediatric Patient Families outside of Victoria General Hospital

Greater Victoria Firefighters celebrated a $25,000 donation to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation in support of pediatric care at Victoria General Hospital (VGH).

This life-saving donation will help fund a high-frequency ventilator for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It will be used daily as a frontline life-support device for critically ill children. This highly specialized unit can support both premature babies as well as pediatric aged children. It can simulate hundreds of tiny breaths per minute and provide a gentler form of ventilation than traditional ventilators, further minimizing harm to a child’s lungs.

The gift is part of the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation’s (PFFGV) pledge to raise $250,000 over ten years to fund an array of priority equipment for Pediatric and Neonatal care at VGH. This is the second ten-year commitment of $250,000, renewed by the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation in 2021 after fulfilling the initial pledge made in 2011.

“We are grateful for the genuine generosity the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria continue to show every year, going above and beyond the call of duty to support our community in greater ways,” said Gaëlle van Erp, Director of Marketing & Communications, Victoria Hospitals Foundation. “The impact of donors is omnipresent within VGH’s Pediatric Units: 80% of the equipment in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and 60% of equipment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is funded by donors like the Professional Firefighters. What a true gift to our littlest patients and their families.”

“Our family has come to rely on the Pediatric Unit at VGH. I can’t find the words to describe how it feels to come to a place where I can completely trust the care providers. I know they will provide my son Logan with the best care possible, each and every time,” said Jessica Truong, local mother of two children who have received care within the Pediatric Unit. “Thank you to the Firefighters for taking time to visit our children and devote their donations towards helping so many pediatric patients on the Island.”

Following the donation presentation, local firefighters spent time speaking with patients on the unit. Children also lined the windows of the Pediatric Unit to see the fire trucks circle around VGH. They also made cards and paper fire hats for the firefighters.

“The Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation is committed to helping the children of Victoria and Vancouver Island. We take great pride in this event and are committed to this fundraiser every year,” shared Drew Coleman, with the Saanich Firefighters Charitable Foundation. “I’d like to thank everyone who supported our charitable initiatives this year, as well as the members of our charitable foundations who volunteer their own time. It is that support that helps our amazing hospital staff here in Victoria, provide our kids with the best possible care.”

Since 2011 the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation has donated $300,000 towards life-saving equipment at VGH, including a pediatric cardiac ultrasound system, a pediatric ventilator, and patient monitors.

“The Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria continue to help provide our dedicated care teams with the tools they need to deliver urgent care,” said Trapper Edison, Clinical Director of Pediatrics, Neonatal, Perinatal & Women’s Health. “Being one of only four high-level NICUs in the province means we can offer intensive care for our newborns and children right here on Vancouver Island—and that is in great part thanks to the dedicated caregivers we are lucky to have, and incredible donors like the Firefighters. We are proud that 98% of Island children can receive care right here, close to home.”

VGH is the referral centre for maternity and pediatrics on Vancouver Island and accepts transfers from within the province for patients ranging in age from birth to 17 years.

Firefighter Drew Coleman with young Patient on a Saanich Firetruck