Ontario Association of Emergency Managers - Event Information
Mental Health Break - Boots on the Ground
A professional development series free to OAEM and OFMEM members aimed at providing a break from the everyday. Eight months into the pandemic and a second wave well underway, it is important that we take time for ourselves and our mental well-being.
Taking place from 12 EST until 1 EST.
Excerpt from tbnewswatch.com article regarding Boots on the Ground organization:
Started in southern Ontario by retiring police officer Dave McLennan, the volunteer non-profit organization has built a network of peer support, largely comprised of retired emergency service professionals, who provide a 24/7 hotline for first responders to deal with their own inner trauma.
Currently there are six volunteers stationed in Northern Ontario.
Bak, a former volunteer medical first responder with the Pass Lake Fire Department, said it’s a service that’s been well put to use since it formed in 2018, with more than 300 calls taken province-wide.
“I know first-hand what’s seen. It’s not pretty. It’s ugly and it’s cumulative oftentimes. They’re seeing things over and over and over that are really the worst of humanity,” Bak said. “We expect sometimes our first responders to be super heroes and they’re not superheroes.
“They’re human beings and this does take a toll on them, and not just them, but their families and friends who are around them.”