Firefighters turn out to battle cancer

Six of Nanaimo's firefighters will be chugging around the Rotary Bowl track in full turnout gear at this year's Relay for Life.

Firefighters Drew Brenton

Firefighters Drew Brenton

Six of Nanaimo’s firefighters will be chugging around the Rotary Bowl track in full turnout gear at this year’s Relay for Life.

Firefighters Drew Benton, Dan Kershaw, Shelby Nickel, Orphée Bernard, Brett Gardner and Assistant Chief Greg Norman formed the Bucketheads team to honour people who lost their battles with cancer and celebrate those who beat the disease.

Every member of the team has family members or close friends affected by the disease and are throwing their support behind others currently fighting for their lives.

They will do the relay with full turnout gear with air parks, which weighs nearly 32 kg.

Each firefighter on the team will take one-hour shifts walking around the track in the gear, which is a serious physical challenge.

“That’s the plan,” Brenton said. “It’s kind of just a good challenge, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not much compared to what most people deal with fighting cancer on a day-to-day basis.”

For a donation, anyone who wants to become an honourary Buckethead can take a turn around the track in full turnout gear.

This year’s Relay for Life in Nanaimo happens at the Rotary Bowl from 7 p.m. June 3 to 7 a.m. June 4.

Prior to the relay, the Bucketheads will also hold a fundraising car wash with 106.9 the Wolf Saturday (May 28) 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Apple Auto Glass on Cliff Street.

The Bucketheads are also registered on the Relay for Life website. The team goal is to raise $3,000 and, so far, they have raised $1,000, Brenton said. To support the team with a donation, please visit the Relay for Life website at or come out to the relay event or car wash.