Big Picture Stuff

Global BC Appearance

Yesterday (March 31) I was invited to appear on Global TV’s BC1 program, “Unfiltered” with Jill Krop. We discussed mental health issues as they apply to firefighters and to speak to Kevin’s passing. Jill’s compassion for firefighters and First Responders is clear. She really cares and I was pleased to be given the opportunity to speak (as a former firefighter and current City Councillor) to the past, the current and the future of mental health issues in the First Responder community. We know what the road ahead of us should look like to get the post discharge follow-up for those who have been diagnosed with an occupational mental health condition.

The BC Professional Fire Fighters Association will be meeting later this month with those who can affect the needed changes within WorkSafeBC. The circumstances of Kevin’s passing clearly identify the void that needs to be filled in the regulations and policies within WorkSafeBC. It’s up to the First Responder community to keep WorkSafe BC mindful that they need to fill this void to prevent a similar event from taking place in the future.

In addition, I would like to thank those who have visited my website, and those who take the time to leave comments on Kevin’s Story. I have received many direct messages and emails from folks wanting to get involved with this endeavor. I have also received many follow-up messages from other First Responders who have been diagnosed with PTSD, and their day to day struggles. Let’s keep these people in our thoughts and always, always, always, let them know, “they are not alone.”

Kevin’s Story Update

Maltese Cross with Black Band - RIP Kevin - #287 - MikeStarchuk.comI have been overwhelmed by the response to my last post, “Kevin’s Story.”  If you missed that post, please scroll down… it is right below this one. 

Nearly 5000 people visited my Facebook page, and close to 3000 visitors to this website. While the majority of viewers to this website come from Canada, there were also many visitors from the US, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, and the UK, just to name a few. This indicates that mental health issues in the First Responder community are a global matter.

Thanks to those of you who made thoughtful and sincere comments that were respectful of Kevin’s grieving family. Thanks as well to those who left comments about mental health issues our First Responders face when they report for duty. We need to keep moving this forward within WorkSafeBC to ensure our First Responders have post post-discharge follow-ups with qualified mental health practitioners. Kevin’s story should not be repeated.

RIP Brother.