Today, firefighters from Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria, and Esquimalt departments announced a new 10-year pledge to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation in support of pediatric care at Victoria General Hospital (VGH). The Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation completed another decade-long $250,000 pledge in March of this year, completing the commitment they made in 2011 to fund an array of priority equipment for Pediatric and Neonatal care at VGH.

“We are so grateful for the commitment and dedication the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation has given to Vancouver Island’s littlest patients, their families and our pediatric care teams. Every year, over 5,000 babies and children receive in-hospital care here at VGH. It’s thanks to donors like them that we can keep 98% of those sick children on the Island, close to their home,” said Avery Brohman, Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s Executive Director. “80% of 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. Better tools and equipment means better healthcare for our children, and we are thankful the firefighters are committed to ensuring our community’s most vulnerable pediatric patients have the best possible chance at not only surviving, but thriving.”

Today, firefighters from Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria, and Esquimalt did a drive-by at VGH to spread cheer to our pediatric patients. Children lined the windows of the pediatric unit with handmade signs of thanks—and those well enough came down to the sidewalk to wave and welcome the firefighters.

“We were so happy to see some of the children our pledge has helped through the windows today,” said Scott McMillan of Esquimalt Fire Department. “They are the reason behind our 2011 $250,000 pledge and continue to be the reason behind our new 10 year commitment today. 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 to help our local hospital provide the best possible care, right here at home.”

Over the last 10 years, the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation has had a great impact on Vancouver Island’s littlest patients. The firefighters have helped fund urgently needed equipment, including a pediatric cardiac ultrasound system, a pediatric ventilator and patient monitors. This new pledge will provide 10 more years of leading edge pediatric and neonatal equipment—equipment that will help care for Vancouver Island’s littlest and most fragile patients.

“The Pediatric program at Victoria General Hospital is truly incredible—and it’s in part thanks to donors like the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria who provide our care teams with the best tools possible for our patients,” said Gillian Kozinka, Director, Clinical Operations, Victoria General Hospital. “Truly, the 10-year-pledge has made a great impact on the care provided at Victoria General Hospital.”

At the forefront of newborn and child care, VGH is the referral centre for maternity and pediatrics on Vancouver Island, and accepts transfers from within the province. Host to one of BC’s four high-level Neonatal Intensive Care Units for critically ill newborns, and one of its two Pediatric Intensive Care Units for critically ill children aged 0-17, the teams care for young patients who may require life support, special medications, and one-to-one observation.

Community members can support the Firefighters and the Victoria Hospitals Foundation by purchasing a 2022 Between the Calls Firefighter calendar. The calendar is a joint initiative project among the four Greater Victoria professional fire departments—Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria—to raise money for Southern Island pediatric units through the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. Calendars can be purchased for $25 at the following locations:

• THRIFTY FOODS (Simcoe, Fairfield, Hillside, Quadra, Admirals, McKenzie, Royal Oak)
• SAVE ON FOODS (Pandora, Wilson, Tillicum, Foul Bay, Saanich Plaza, Shelbourne)
• RED BARN MARKETS (Oak Bay, Menzies, Vanalman, Esquimalt, West Saanich, Matticks Farm)
• FAIRWAY MARKET (Gorge Road, Shelbourne, Quadra, McKenzie, Oak Bay)
• LONDON DRUG (Yates, Tillicum, Quadra)
• LIQUOR PLUS (Cadboro Bay, Shelbourne)

This year’s commitment will help fund pediatric equipment in support of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s Emerge Stronger campaign. The $10M campaign was launched in late October of this year, as an investment to help Island Health emerge stronger as a healthcare system post-COVID-19, and a response to community members who have been inquiring about how they can best support local hospitals.

Contributions to this ambitious campaign can be made by donating online at, mailing a cheque, through gifts of securities, or calling 250-519-1750.