Pictured from left to right: Emma Carrick, Manager of Pediatrics and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Island Health; Trent Frenkel, Oak Bay Firefighter; Brynn, VGH pediatric patient; Scott McMillan, Esquimalt Firefighter; Frank Williams, Victoria Firefighter; Avery Brohman, Executive Director, Victoria Hospitals Foundation; and Bonnie Fiala, Saanich Firefighter.


Today, firefighters from Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria, and Esquimalt departments celebrated the completion of a 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’s final cheque for $25,000 completes the $250,000 commitment they made in 2011 to fund an array of priority equipment for Pediatric and Neonatal care at VGH.

“Today, we celebrate many things—a gift made possible by our community, the completion of a pledge that has been dear to our hearts for a decade, and the excellence in care provided to our pediatric patients at Victoria General Hospital,” says Frank Williams, Victoria Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation. “We are so proud to have partnered with the Victoria Hospitals Foundation and so grateful to have supported the littlest patients in our community over the year. They are our future, and this is why it mattered so much.”

To thank the local firefighters for giving back, 13-year-old Brynn presented artwork created by pediatric patients to each of the four fire halls. Brynn was an inpatient at VGH in November 2020. While receiving care in the Pediatric In-Patient Unit at VGH, Brynn wanted to thank the doctors and nurses who treated her, and started her own fundraiser for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. Brynn and her family are thrilled to see support for pediatric care from organizations like the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation.

“Not all the kids are as lucky as I am, and all of the nurses and doctors are working so hard to try to figure out what is wrong with each of us, and to treat each of us, and to care for us. It’s hard work. So anything we can do to make sure they have the tools and support, I’d like to help with,” says Brynn.

“We are deeply thankful for the ongoing support of the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation,” says Avery Brohman, Executive Director of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. “Our firefighters’ pledge to ensure our youngest and most vulnerable patients have access to leading edge pediatric equipment and resources demonstrates their compassion and commitment to the community. They are helping us keep local kids on Vancouver Island as much as possible, by their family’s side—what a gift that is.”

Over the last 10 years, the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation have done so much for Vancouver Island’s littlest patients. They have helped fund urgently needed equipment, including a pediatric cardiac ultrasound system, a pediatric ventilator and patient monitors.

This year’s $25,000 donation is specifically supporting the funding of Pediatric stretchers. These stretchers are for the Pediatric Operating Room and Surgical Daycare at VGH and will be used by both newborns and children. Pediatric-specific stretchers provide safe and secure transport for the unique needs of pediatric patients, particularly pre-mature infants, with height-adjustability and specialized railings.

“Our Pediatric program at Victoria General Hospital is truly remarkable—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 Emma Carrick, Manager of Pediatrics and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Island Health. “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 NICUs 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.

The Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation hinted that an exciting announcement for future fundraising initiatives would be unveiled in October of this year.

Contributions to Pediatric Care can be made by donating online at calling directly at 250-519-1750, or mailing a donation to Wilson Block, 1952 Bay Street, Victoria BC, V8R 1J8.