Halifax firefighters pose with their pups for calendar supporting mental health

·2 min read
Kyle Currie worked for 10 years as a firefighter in Halifax.  (Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency - image credit)
Kyle Currie worked for 10 years as a firefighter in Halifax. (Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency - image credit)

Kyle Currie was a 10-year veteran of Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency when he took his own life in 2018 at the age of 34.

"He loved his job. He loved the excitement of it," said Claudia Currie, Kyle's mother. "He loved the people he worked with and it was a major part of his life."

Despite Kyle's passion for the job, his family knew something wasn't quite right. Kyle had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"For about the last year of his life, Kyle was getting increasingly sick," said Currie. "But during that time, the one thing that kept him centred and grounded was his dog."

Soon after Kyle's death, his mother and fellow Halifax firefighter Michael Sears started a campaign called Fight4life, which helps first responders struggling with mental health issues.

Calendar in support of mental health

Now they have put together a calendar for 2022 featuring Halifax firefighters posing with their own dogs.

People sometimes adopt dogs as companions to help ease symptoms of PTSD.

"This calendar is huge because it will support the men and women of the fire service with their mental health," said Dave Roche, who is pictured in the calendar with his Jack Russell terrier, Seamus.

"We see things everyday that people shouldn't see."

Paul Palmeter/CBC
Paul Palmeter/CBC

All funds received from calendar sales will go to support programs that help prevent and treat PTSD for first responders.

"I think it is kind of a fun and bright way of bringing light to what is often a very dark topic," said Emma Roberts, who is featured in the calendar with her golden retriever, Stella.

"I feel very strongly about mental health for first responders, and I think this is a great organization to help out."

Paul Palmeter/CBC
Paul Palmeter/CBC

Information on how to purchase a calendar can be found on the Fight4life website.

"First responders throughout the region face challenges unlike anybody else," said Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Deputy Chief Dave Meldrum.

"Those challenges can sometimes be chronic and persistent and last for years and can impact not only the responders themselves, but also their family."

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