Several Lower Mainland organizations, both in the Chinese community and beyond, finalized plans yesterday to send aid to China after it was hit by a deadly earthquake.

James Chu, vice-president of the Chinese Benevolent Association, said lunchtime and evening meetings were held to discuss how to collect donations, which will likely go to the Red Cross.

“Every branch of the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank (HSBC) in the Lower Mainland is also accepting donations,” he said.

John Wong, vice-president of the association, added that Vancouverites of all ethnic backgrounds have expressed interest in donating money.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Capt. Gabe Roder said the Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue Team is on standby.

“All we need is for the governments to say they need us and our crews would be mobilized.”

He said 54 city employees, including firefighters, would be deployed.

“They’ve got equipment they utilize for rescue and extrication and medical stabilization. They also have water-making facilities and emergency apparatus equipment on top of our extensive equipment for shoring.”

Roder added that the firefighters would be replaced so local fire halls aren’t left short-staffed.

“We wouldn’t compromise our own services here for anything.”


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