A crowd gather at Saugeen First Nation on Sunday, March 7th, to greet firefighter Dylan Roote of Saugeen First Nation #29, who took up and completed the Fundraising challenge for Wounded Warriors Canada.
Roote began on Friday, March 5th to run the 4x4x48 challenge, 4 miles, every 4 hours, for 48 hours in full firefighter turnout gear that added 60 lbs., including an SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus), all the equivalent to what firefighters carry while on the job.
Roote said that, “With the COVID-19 pandemic, and mental health issues on the rise, I felt it was time to give back!”
Roote’s goal was to raise $2,000 and he has to-date exceeded that goal however, donations continue to come in.
On his last lap of the challenge on Sunday, March 7th, Dylan Roote was joined by his brother Curtis and Saugeen firefighter colleagues. “As far as we know,” said Curtis Roote, “Dylan is the only firefighter in the world to complete the 4x4x48 in full turnout equipment.”
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According to Wounded Warriors Canada, those who work in uniformed service professions (Canadian Armed Forces, Police, Fire, Paramedic, Corrections) are at an increased risk for developing an Operational Stress Injury (OSI) like PTSD.
Wounded Warriors Canada is a national mental health service provider utilizing clinical best practices and evidence-informed care to create an environment of compassion, resiliency and hope for Canada’s Veterans, First Responders and their families.
Saugeen Councilor Conrad Ritchie thanked Dylan Roote and the Saugeen Fire Service for leading youth in the community by setting an example. “Runners have long been part of our culture,” said Ritchie.