A Vernon Mountie plans to walk 239 kilometres to help first responders dealing with post-traumatic stress disorders.
Sgt. Rob Farrer will leave the Vernon RCMP detachment at 7 a.m. Sunday and walk to the Okanagan Rail Trail entrance on Kalavista Drive. From there, he will walk the trail to Oyama, around Wood Lake and back until he reaches his goal.
He estimates the journey will take more than 60 hours.
“More and more research is showing that the number of police officers with PTSD or related occupational stress injuries is well over double that of the general public, and sadly this often leads to significant decreases in quality of life of both the officers and their families,” said Farrer. “While not always curable, PTSD can be dealt with in a positive way in order to achieve a meaningful life. The first step is to reach out for help.”
Farrer has a GoFundMe page where he’s raising money for Courageous Companions, a service-dog program that helps those suffering from long-term OSIs, PTSD and other related issues acquire service dogs to provide support and aid in their recovery. The cost of acquiring and training service dogs is approximately $25,000.