News Raising funds and awareness for first responders’ peer-to-peer support SHARE ON: Bob McIntyre, staff Monday, Sep. 23rd, 2019 (Boots on the Ground/OPSEU) A campaign to bring peer-to-peer support for first responders who suffer post-traumatic stress on the job is coming to the area on Tuesday, October 8th. Ken Steinbrunner is a member of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union executive board, and president of the local at the Monteith Correctional Complex. He says the event will be a fund- and awareness-raising barbecue at Gillies Lake for “Boots on the Ground”. It’s working to have 24/7 service for those first responders to call someone else in their field, if they’re having difficulty or even contemplating suicide. “It’s not that the folks that are treating this or care about it, social workers or whatever aren’t of value” Steinbrunner explains, “but it’s really important for the people that are calling in that it’s someone who can actually understand what you’ve gone through, because it’s not easy to describe, it’s not easy to relive these circumstances.” From dealing with the initial crisis, whoever answers that phone call will lead the caller to those social workers or whatever services they need. “When I say ‘You know…’ when you’re talking about the incident, ‘you know what it’s like’, the person goes “Yeah, I know what it’s like. So we don’t have to talk about all that. Let’s talk about getting you better, getting you help,’” adds Steinbrunner. The October 8th event is a fund- and awareness-raising barbecue at Gillies Lake in Timmins. It will have raffles for a child’s motorcycle and NHL memorabilia, including a Carey Price autographed hockey jersey.