Penticton firefighters drop in at safety village

Local emergency workers hit the streets to help raise nearly $7,000 for their favourite charity

Penticton firefighter Brent Ryll goes inverted from a rope attached to the department’s ladder truck as part of a demonstration of the capabilities of local members at the Red Rooster Winery recently. Crews regularly train in a wide variety of skills necessary for rescue and fire-fighting work.

Penticton firefighter Brent Ryll goes inverted from a rope attached to the department’s ladder truck as part of a demonstration of the capabilities of local members at the Red Rooster Winery recently. Crews regularly train in a wide variety of skills necessary for rescue and fire-fighting work.

Saving life, limb and property are not all Penticton firefighters do to help the community.

Crews recently took part in two fundraising events, including one for the Child Safety Village and the annual Boot Drive in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Stationed at Wal-Mart and Safeway stores, in a single day members of the Fire Fighters Local 1399 brought in $3,285.

“These funds will be donated to improve the quality of life for people with neuromuscular disorders by purchasing mobility equipment, providing support services and funding research, which will one day lead to a cure,” said spokesman Ryan Bazley. “Without the kindness of the Penticton community, the firefighters would not be able to support such a worthwhile cause in helping us, ‘make muscles move.’”

He also expressed his appreciation to the South Okanagan MD volunteer chapter for partnering with firefighters.

The fundraiser for the Child Safety Village took place at Red Rooster Winery and had similar success, bringing in about $3,000.

Operated by the Penticton and District Community Resources Society, the village is designed to help kids in kindergarten to Grade 3 through classroom lectures, video presentations and practical training on bicycles.

In addition to teaching children the rules of the road, there is also a fire-safety component as well.

On-site is a specially-designed house in which fire department staff teach children various techniques to escape a burning building and alert others to an emergency.

Annually  1,500 kids from throughout the South Okanagan receive the training.

“It was a fabulous fundraiser they put on out there and the amount they raised is going to help us so much with the operation of the Safety Village and keeping us going for the next year,” said village manager Lori Woods.

“To have the fire department come on board is a huge, huge commitment and to take on fundraising to help us out is almost beyond words.”

She added their efforts are a testament to the character and commitment of firefighters, especially to the children.

“And if all it does is help one family get out or save the life of one child, that is beyond measure,” said Woods. “It is hard to put a price tag on this type of program.”