A Boalsburg bicyclist is using his hobby to help firefighters and EMS workers who are hurting and in need of help with their mental health.
Marc warren of Boalsburg has a daughter who’s been a firefighter in Harrisburg for 14 years.
He says she saw some pretty traumatic things that were hard to get out of her head.
“She’s always been a great communicator and she will raise her hand is a second and say I need help,” Marc Warren, Boalsburg bicyclist, said.
Warren says unlike his daughter Ali, a lot of firefighters, especially men don’t ask for mental health help.
Steve Bair with the Centre Region Council of Governments says, it can be hard for firefighters’ to forget what they’ve seen and also not feel guilt.
“Police, fire, EMS, a lot of people are very altruistic, they really want to help people and when that help seems to fall short they take that very very personally and that’s a very dangerous thing,” Bair, said.
A triatholon Warren was participating in State College was cancelled, so he decided to ride from pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland this Thursday, to raise money for the national volunteer fire council’s share the load hotline.
The hotline gives mental health help to firefighters, ems workers and their families.
“They just give someone a chance to anonymously call and get good guidance, good counseling, referrals, things that can help change that paradigm,” Bair, said.
He says most volunteer fire companies don’t provide mental health help, which makes this hotline so valuable.
“It takes a lot of strength to raise your hand and say I need help, and the help is there, that’s the whole point of this,” Warren, said.
To find out how to donate to warren’s GoFund me page, you can go to https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/marc-warrens-bike-ride-for-first-responders-mental-health-to-benefit-the-nvfc?fbclid=IwAR2G9CK4_zlyZy4AzF8aokQj1UrBG9cQ-koqs4lYcx2BQmrHkQPzjQ93HK8