Sooke volunteer firefighter

Firefighters to share their expertise

Local volunteers fundraising for trip to aid Panamanian firefighters

Sooke Fire Rescue Service firefighters are hoping to share their expertise with fellow firefighters in Central America in February 2013.

John Hester, local volunteer firefighter, said the goal is to send up to six local firefighters to Boquete, Panama to provide training in areas like wild land firefighter and basic techniques on home protection.

“They have a lot of problems with forest fires coming into their cities and things like that,” he said.

The visit will cost about $15,000 for expenses like travel.

“The way this came about was there was a group of people from the Rotary coming down to interface with their Rotary down in Panama,” Hester said, adding a request was then sent in for Sooke firefighters to provide training.

“We looked at it and thought that’d be a really good community thing to do — our community helping their community.”

The training project is not set in stone as the fire department still has a lot of fundraising to do.

“We’re not for certain going, we need the money first,” Hester said, adding there will be various fundraisers to come in future months.