Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 4:45 PM

SJRFD and IAFF Partner with Dollar A Day Foundation

St. John's Regional Fire Department logo

The Dollar A Day Foundation (DAD) created a program in partnership with the St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) and IAFF Local 1075 called Fighting Chance. Fighting Chance is designed to engage first responders in a meaningful way. As champions for mental health, we want to help First Responders support mental health and addictions in the communities they serve. This program will provide support for their own internal Peer Support Program to ensure they have the resources and support they need to take care of their own.

On Sunday, September 19, 2021, Dollar A Day, SJRFD and IAFF Local 1075 are raising the bucket for Mental Health and Addictions Care in our communities. An SJRFD ladder truck will be parked outside of Mile One Centre in the Cabot Place parking lot, 100 New Gower Street from 10:00am – 7:00pm as public figures, community leaders and first responders volunteer to take shifts in the bucket to raise awareness and funds for mental health and addictions challenges for first responders and individuals within the communities they serve.

Alan Doyle, Co-Founder of Dollar A Day Foundation explains Fighting Chance as “A cool idea we came up with to partner with some first responders in our communities. It’s a simple goal, to help them help each other in getting the mental health and addictions support they need to get back to work and back helping those in the communities they serve. These folks truly are superheroes – they are the soccer and hockey coaches, school volunteers; true community leaders in every sense of the word and if we can help one of them get back doing the critical work they do it makes a significant impact on our community as a whole. It is an honour to help support this work and to help support them getting back to what they do so heroically.”

“Peer support is very important for us because mental health was like a steel door with multiple locks and it was never opened up for us, the conversation was never had internally. Our peer support program provides education for our members so that we can recognize the signs and systems, recognize events that could compound both professionally and personally” said Craig Smith, President of IAFF Local 1075 Firefighters Association.

Fire Chief Sherry Colford is pleased at the response from community leaders and public figures who have stepped up to be a part of this event. “Our Department works hard in building the skills and expertise of its emergency responders, but they need a solid foundation. The Fighting Chance will hopefully bring awareness and support to a very real issue for emergency responders and eliminate the stigma of mental health and addiction challenges that many of them face. Our firefighters and dispatchers are there for the community every day doing what they do best, but as a community we need to be there for them to ensure they are given the solid foundation they need” says Chief Colford.

A video was created to highlight the fighting chance program with interviews from SJRFD and IAFF members to promote the program; watch the video here.

Donations can be made to this fundraiser online at www.adollaraday.ca/raisethebucket. Folks are encouraged to visit the SJRFD Facebook Page and tune into VOCM for full coverage and schedule of events.