Firefighters of Greater Victoria gathered alongside doctors, nurses and hospital staff at the Victoria General Hospital Thursday morning to present a cheque for $25,000 to the Victoria Hospital Foundation.
This donation is part of a larger, 10-year pledge, to donate $250,000 made by firefighters in 2011 to fund various leading-edge equipment for the Pediatric Unit at VGH.
This year’s donation will go towards purchasing 40 new monitors that allow doctors and nurses to get real time data and information on a patient’s vitals in order to make important clinical decisions.
“[The monitors are] an incredibly important piece of equipment for us to keep the sickest children on the Island with their families and in their home communities,” said Gillian Kozinka, manager of perinatal and neonatal ICU.
The monitors are used in 100 per cent of cases in the NICU and the PICU. According to VGH, more than 3,000 babies are born and 2,000 pediatric patients are cared for every year at the hospital with one in six newborns spending time in the NICU and one in eight children in the PICU.
The money donated by the firefighters is raised through various events such as the Sausage Fest in Oak Bay, Ribfest in Esquimalt, Fashion Inferno in Victoria and the Rock n’ Roll for Little Souls in Saanich.
“In addition, every member does payroll deductions to the charitable foundation as well,” said Brain Swanson, a Saanich firefighter.
Including Thursday’s donation, firefighters in Greater Victoria have raised and donated $225,000 in total. This year’s funds contribute to the Victoria Hospital Foundation’s latest campaign — You Are Vital: Pediatrics — which aims to raise $1.8 million this spring to fund life-saving neonatal and pediatric care at VGH.
“It’s important because this is our home city, this is where our children would go if they were in need and it’s good to have a place where they can actually get treatment here in Victoria rather than having to go across to Vancouver or up Island,” said Swanson.
Previous gifts from the firefighter pledge have supported critical equipment for the PICU and the NICU such as an infant resuscitation unit and a specialized pediatric ventilator.
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