CHEK Upside: Firefighters set to embark on round the clock walk for children’s charity

Chek
WatchGreater Victoria firefighters will complete a 24-hour relay starting tomorrow to raise money for local and provincial children's charities and nonprofits.

Greater Victoria firefighters will take a walk into the unknown when the first Going Round in Circles fundraiser starts Saturday.

The Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Saanich and Victoria Fire Departments will be doing a 24 hour relay around the Oak Bay High School track in full firefighting turnout gear.

One firefighter at a time will don all of their personal protective gear and start “Going ‘Round in Circles” to help raise money for local children and youth organizations affected by COVID-19.

“With a lot of our fundraisers being cancelled this year because of the pandemic, we had to kinda start thinking outside the box instead of doing individual fundraisers, figure out how we could come together and do one that is as one group and so this came into the light,” says Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation President Trent Frenkel.

The walk won’t be easy. The turnout gear can way up to 40 pounds, and while it might keep the flames out, it’s not really breathable.

“You know this gear’s designed to keep heat out, but it also keeps heat in. Within a few minutes it gets pretty warm,” adds Frenkel.

“We all stay in shape, it’s part of our job. We’re all in the gym training all the time so I don’t think this will be I don’t know, out of our wheelhouse but we’ll see. I’m up for the challenge,” says first-year Oak Bay firefighter Paul Lance. Lance is burdened with the 2:30 a.m. shift but hopes he cool temperatures will help.

The challenge of the task at hand is also driving these men to perform, as well as the children and organizations they’re walking for.

“You know anyone could just do this in like running gear, but being firefighters we’re doing what we do best and pushing ourselves to show that we’re here to put an effort in to raise this money.”

The 24-hour relay starts at the Oak Bay High School track on June 27 at 11 a.m. To donate head to the Goin’ Round in Circles GoFundMe page.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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