Retired Vancouver Fire Fighter Rides 3,000 Kilometres for PTSD Support Program

September 11 • 2015
Retired Vancouver, BC Local 18 member Colin Thompson is a man on a mission to raise money to fund a first responder-oriented post-traumatic stress treatment program at Vancouver General Hospital. The projected start-up cost for the program is $70,000.

To raise the money, Thompson is riding from Vancouver to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado. So far, the campaign, dubbed “PTSD FireRide,” has raised more than $24,000.

“Once this program at Vancouver General Hospital is launched, it will be the first of its kind in British Columbia, as it will be specifically geared toward fire fighters and other first responders,” says IAFF 6th District Vice President Lorne West. “I am very proud of Brother Thompson’s dedication and determination to address the very serious issue of post-traumatic stress in the fire service.”

Thompson, a 30-year veteran fire fighter, was inspired to do something after seeing firsthand how common post-traumatic stress is in the fire service and how devastating it can be.

“I never want to attend another funeral of a brother or sister fire fighter or any first responder who suffered and died as a result of post-traumatic stress,” says Thompson. “I’m riding for all the first responders who haven’t been able to get the help they needed, when they needed it.”

PTSD FireRide is supported by the Vancouver Firefighters Charitable Society and the British Columbia Fire Fighters Association. Visit the PTSDFireRide web site to donate or get the most up-to-date information.