Kelowna officer to help children in Ethiopia
By Grant Cameron
Gayanne Pacholzuk, a fire prevention officer with the Kelowna Fire Department in British Columbia, will be bringing the message of fire safety to elementary school children in Ethiopia in November.
Pacholzuk is joining a medical team from RESTOR International that is going to the African country to provide free, life-altering surgeries to children and young adults with disabling and disfiguring contractures as a result of burns.
“I look forward to being a part of the RESTOR team this year and being able to share my knowledge with Ethiopian people in hopes that some of the burn injuries can be prevented in the future,” she said.
Pacholzuk, who has more than 21 years in the fire service, will work with the fire department in Bahir Dar and oversee the translation of fire prevention educational materials into Amharic, the official language in Ethiopia.
At the Kelowna department, she oversees fire inspections, fire investigations, and public education. She is very active in the push for fire prevention and awareness across Canada and is president with the Fire Prevention Officer’s Association of B.C.
Pacholzuk is on a committee for the National Building Code as well as two technical committees with the National Fire Protection Association, specializing in life safety in buildings and building construction.
She is also very active with the B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund and has volunteered as a camp counsellor for the past six summers at a camp for children who are burn survivors.
RESTOR International said in a statement that the organization is thrilled to have Pacholzuk accompany the team to teach a sample program in elementary schools.
RESTOR is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that helps disadvantaged children and adults in developing countries.