New partnership to offer enhanced mental health support programs to firefighters

A new partnership announced between Whitby Fire and Emergency Services (WFES) and Wounded Warriors Canada will see the Town’s firefighters and their families have access to new mental health programs and services. The programs, offered by Wounded Warriors Canada will build on the current mental health supports available to Whitby firefighters through the Town’s employee benefits program and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), the WFES peer support program, and the Regional critical incident stress team.

Whitby Fire Chief Dave Speed and Wounded Warriors Canada Executive Director Scott Maxwell made the partnership official at a signing ceremony held at Whitby Fire’s headquarters. The new programs will help to ensure Whitby firefighters are healthy and able to perform properly as they work to serve the community.

Mental health is top-of-mind for WFES, especially this time of year. Throughout the month of November, personnel will be wearing RED slip-on epaulettes (the small sashes worn on the shoulder of a first responder uniform which denotes their ranking) in support of the Wounded Warriors of Canada’s “Slip on the Red” campaign.

The decorative pieces are being worn in recognition of past and present Canadian military and first responders who place themselves and their mental health at risk every day. RED was selected to stand as an acronym for Remember Everyone Deployed.

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