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Colin's PTSDFireRide for First Responders
$31,453 raised
45% of $70k goal
196 contributors
2 Years running
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can kill. I'm riding to the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs to raise money for a pioneering program at Vancouver General Hospital to help firefighters, paramedics and police officers cope with PTSD.

Firefighters respond to all manner of emergencies, and are exposed to hundreds of traumatic incidents during a career. As a result, Firefighters are many times more likely to develop PTSD than the general population, and their treatment needs are different. Despite this, there are no firefighter-specific PTSD treatment programs in place in Western Canada, and I want to change that! I think we all do, and your donations will support the creation of a First Responder specific PTSD Treatment Program.

As a retired Vancouver firefighter, I know firsthand the incredible stresses Firefighters face. In emergencies, Firefighters and other First Responders put emotions aside as we focus on and deal with tragic events. The culture of first responders is to cope with the aftermath quietly and move forward to the next call. But the stress can culminate and lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At its extreme, PTSD has been the driving factor of suicides and family breakdowns. Mood swings, addiction, substance abuse, relationship conflicts — PTSD can have a very negative impact if not treated. Some studies show that 20% or more of all Firefighters suffer from PTSD, and almost all cases go untreated.

Your tax-deductible donations will go to the Vancouver Fire Fighters' Charitable Society which is committed to supporting a pioneering program at Vancouver General Hospital. The Kelty Online Therapy Service at Vancouver Coastal Health can create a First Responder-oriented PTSD Treatment Program but only if we can find the funding!

The bargain is this: You kindly donate, and I bicycle over 2000 KM to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where Firefighters from Canada and the USA place the names of those lost in the line of duty on the Wall of Remembrance and Honour. It is here that the names of a growing number of brave Firefighter who have succumbed to the ravages of PTSD are engraved. As a past and current member of the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services Honour Guard for over 20 years, I have had the honour and the pain of personally presenting our Canadian flag to Fallen Firefighters’ family members, as their loved one’s name is placed on the Wall, and their final alarm bell is rung. This traditional Firefighter Ceremony honours those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

I never want to attend another funeral of a brother or sister firefighter — or any first responder — who suffered and died from PTSD. That's why I'm riding to the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial ceremony in Colorado Springs this September. I'm riding for all the first responders who haven't been able to get the help they need when they need it.

I didn't get the nickname "Jack Russell" for nothing! I'm going to spend the spring and summer in training for my 2000+ KM ride from Vancouver to Colorado Springs. I know I can do it! But I need your help. Your donations to my campaign will give me the encouragement and drive I need to achieve my goal…Our Goal!!!. You will be in my thoughts as I march with the VF&RS Honour Guard in Colorado Springs. Together, we can be proud to know we've spearheaded the cause of getting treatment for first responders who suffer from PTSD.

In Colorado this September, I hope to be able to announce that the people of Vancouver, the Lower Mainland, BC, and Canada at large have pulled together as a team to provide the donations necessary to begin providing First-Responder specific PTSD treatment to our emergency services workers...treatment made necessary by the very nature of our work in helping people. Thank you for you kind support!!

This is why the focused PTSD Program for First Responders is so important. To make it a reality, we need to comeup with 70K total in year one. 10K of that is for the First Responder-Specific Component, and 60K is for the PTSD Program Framework. Yearly program maintenance is expected to be 20K in year one, as more users of the system come onboard.

Lewiston KREW NewsCast

Video: http://youtu.be/qxUUsDHRAqY 

CTV News Story: Recent Tragedy

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