I’ve been a paramedic for nearly 28 years, all around BC, starting in Zeballos. During that time, I’ve seen so many of my fellow first responders taken down with traumatic stress injuries. Some of them have lost their lives. When I started out, the prevailing attitude was that, if you were bothered by things you see, then you have no business being a paramedic. We were told to never speak about being traumatized. The overwhelming culture was one of silence. The culture is changing, but as long as first responders are suffering and ending their lives due to trauma, we still have a long way to go. That’s where Wounded Warrior comes in.
I come from a proud military family, so I supported the Wounded Warrior run locally in its early years when Wounded Warrior’s services were directed specifically at military personnel. When their programs opened up to first responders, I became involved in the entire run as paramedic support. With the support of my union, this will be my third year in that role. Spreading awareness of traumatic stress injuries and raising funds for Wounded Warrior services have become a major focus of my career and life.