Vancouver Fire First Cause Boot Drive
July 09, 2016
BENEFITING: Vancouver Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society
EVENT: First Cause Ride
EVENT DATE: Aug 20, 2016
Hello family, friends and lovely humans! As most of you know, just over a year ago I decided I wanted to begin a career as a first responder; more specifically, a firefighter. This is a decision I did not take lightly. I knew I wanted to help people and serve my community, although I also had to make sure I was mentally prepared for the traumatic and stressful events I would encounter throughout my career.
I moved to Sun Peaks Resort last October to pursue this goal. I started working as a ski patroller and volunteered for the local fire department. Currently, I am participating in the Work Experience Program with Sun Peaks Fire Rescue.
It is easy to overlook the emotional stress that plagues first responders as they are often perceived and expected to be immune to horrific experiences. However, the unfortunate truth is that the majority of first responders are not immune and will suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at some point in their lives. In fact, 64 first responders have committed suicide in Canada since the beginning of 2015.
This is unacceptable.
I decided to do the First Cause Ride (147 km) to offer support for those suffering from PTSD and also fundraise for the advancement of programs designed to prevent PTSD from developing after critical events. Furthermore, I believe it’s important to raise awareness of this condition and erase the stigmas associated with mental illness. First responders should feel comfortable talking about critical incidents that have affected them and this starts with support from the community they serve everyday.
It would be greatly appreciated if you could donate to my fundraiser page. If you are unable to donate, a great alternative would be to read more on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and become educated on what some of the first responders in your community may be going through.
Have a spectacular summer!