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April 23, 2004
Media Advisory: Toronto firefighter helping Sierra Leone
  
Toronto firefighter Ron Kyle will receive a donation of used fire equipment
from Central York Fire Services in his continuing effort to make a difference
in Sierra Leone.

"Firefighter Ron Kyle's work in organizing and volunteering his time to assist
the citizens of Sierra Leone and the local fire service is worthy of
recognition," said Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart. "Ron is a dedicated
firefighter and a credit to the service."

Date: Monday, April 26
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Central York Fire Station #4-1, 984 Gorham St., Newmarket

Kyle visited Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa, last year as a Mercy Ships
volunteer. Mercy Ships is a Christian relief organization that operates three
hospital ships providing free medical operations, relief aid and training in
the poorest countries of the world (www.mercyships.org).

Kyle found the war-torn nation to be in desperate need of fire-related
equipment. He returned to Sierra Leone with 14 pallets of used fire equipment
and supplies donated by individuals and companies across the Greater Toronto
Area. Sharon Downer of Central York Fire Services heard about Ron's crusade
and, with Fire Chief John Molyneaux, donated some used gear. Many more bunker
suits, extinguishers, boots and helmets are being collected by Kyle to continue
helping the firefighters of Sierra Leone.

On March 18, the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association honoured Ron
Kyle with the Al Pearsall Award for his humanitarian work in Sierra Leone
(http://www.toronto.ca/fire/news/awards).

The equipment has had a major impact on the fire fighting capabilities of the
National Fire Force of Sierra Leone. Chief Kamanda Bongay thanked Kyle, Mercy
Ships and Canadian Fire Services at a ceremony in December 2003, saying, "It
has improved the way we are able to combat fires."

Ron Kyle said, "I had meetings with the Minister of Internal Affairs, the
Deputy Minister of Health, and the Director of Medical Services and they opened
many doors to Mercy Ships and the local fire force. I am committed to helping
in any way to make their job safer and more efficient while protecting lives,
property and the environment."

Media contacts:
Mike Strapko, Toronto Fire Services, 416-338-9319,
pager 416-334-5223
Ron Kyle, Toronto Fire Services, kruzinkyle@bmts.com



 

 

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