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New face leads firefighter fundraising in Oak Bay

Aidan Wells started as a teen volunteer with Metchosin Fire Department
Firefighter Aidan Wells is the new executive director for the Oak Bay Firefighters’ Charitable Foundation. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Firefighter Aidan Wells is walking the fiery career path he expected as a youth. Now he does it at the helm of the Oak Bay Firefighters’ Charitable Foundation.

Wells, hired by Oak Bay fire in October 2020, started as a teen volunteer with the Metchosin department – serving the community where he grew up.

He takes over from Trent Frenkel in a role that generally runs a two-year term. The foundation is made up of 21 firefighters who serve Oak Bay by giving time and talent to raise funds and awareness for several causes.

RELATED: Greater Victoria firefighters lap up new fundraising opportunity

The variety of causes range from local students, schools and infrastructure to provincial programs such as the Terry Fox Run and B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund.

Wells hopes events such as Sausage Fest are again on the horizon. The foundation’s primary fundraiser was set to celebrate five years in 2020 and was among the COVID-19 casualties.

Instead that year, firefighters from Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay and Saanich ran the track behind Oak Bay High in a 24-hour relay to raise funds.

Firefighters from those departments are members of the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation that pledged to raise $250,000 over 10 years for the pediatric unit at Victoria General Hospital. They celebrated completing the first pledge in spring 2021. In November, the firefighters committed to another decade and $250,000.

RELATED: Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria pledge half a million for Victoria’s sick children

The amount of effort and time put in by his peers is among the inspirations for Wells taking over.

“It’s good to give back to the community; good to raise money and awareness for the different causes we support.”

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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