HELPING THE HELPERS – PRESUMPTION OF ILLNESS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

INTRODUCING – Presumption of Illness for First Responders in British Columbia .

** WARNING – THIS VIDEO MAY CAUSE TRIGGER **

Introducing Presumption of Illness for First Responders Iin Br…

** WARNING – THIS VIDEO MAY CAUSE TRIGGER **This has been a very difficult post to try and write. How do you explain in words how it feels to go from the darkest depths of the devils belly – after living for many years slowly loosing your family, 3 attempted suicides , loosing your career, countless treatment centers, detox centers, doctors, shrinks, and more meds than your local pharmacy has in store as we speak.Years and years of trying to prove to Worksafe BC that your Post Traumatic Stress , and all the symptoms are work related. How does one express how it feels , to travel the world, and shake many peoples hands , and tell the story to every news, radio, newspaper, website, podcast, and all social media as to how important it is that we bring more public awareness not only to PTS – but also to this Bill M203 .Last year, with the help from all of our sponsors and 100's of volunteers the day finally came true, when we had the honour to be invited to sit and be witness to a change in history when Shane Simpson – tabled Presumption of Illness during our #ITSNOTWEAKTOSPEAK tourThanks to @Shane Simpson – BC NDP and to the over 6000 people across Canada who have helped sign our petition , Finally , the moment we have all been waiting for.Under the Workers Compensation Amendment Act, when a First responder is diagnosed with a Post Traumatic Stress Injury, it will be deemed as a result of their occupation.This will end the hurdles around WorkSafeBC claims and the related unacceptable delays that too many of our Public Servants who need support are facing today.Lets not get to excited yet, because this same Bill was tabled last year, and the Liberal Government wanted nothing to do with it – therefore, since then, this last year in BC alone, 19 more of our Public Safety workers have ended their lives, leaving there familes behind, with again ZERO HELP from Worksafe BC . Its time to make serious changes in todays Goverment.100 years ago ( 1917 ) 306 Soldiers 23 of them Canadians, were lined up and executed by fireing squad for being considered "Cowards" because they were showing signs of what we call today – PTSDThese men, ( some only 17 – 19 yr old boys ) had their blindfolds removed before being executed to show how Brave they really are.100 years ago – ( 1917 )Worksafe BC was founded.Worksafe BC Mandate is as follows – Our organization was established by provincial legislation as an agency with the mandate to oversee a no-fault insurance system for the workplace.* We partner with employers and workers in B.C. to do the following:* Promote the prevention of workplace injury, illness, and disease* Rehabilitate those who are injured, and provide timely return to work* Provide fair compensation to replace workers' loss of wages while recovering from injuries* Ensure sound financial management for a viable workers' compensation systemSURE LOOKS GOOD – SOUNDS GOOD – The only thing that has changed with Worsafe BC, in the last 100 years is that we have gone from shooting people with PTSD – to just leaving us out to rot and die by suicide all alone still without any help what so ever.Ummm, did I miss something in the mandate I just read ?In order for a First Responder to feel safe in asking for help, He or She needs to be sure it's actually there for them.** note ** I have written over 110 000 words regarding my personal feelings on this Bill and how important it is that it passes through legisaltion , I have beat my head against walls these last few weeks trying to minimize my words and facts about WCB – and my conclusion to it all , is this .Its far to much, far to deep , far to dark to write about in a facebook post so for my own sanity, I must keep this post as simple as it is – * forgive me for not being able to find it in words to descibe how it feels to have a rifle down your throat, forgive me for not being able to express in words just how it feels to be absolutly shit on by these worksafe animals , or how to minumize my words as to how it feels to loose your soul mate, your family , your career, the nightmares, the over whelming amount of stress, depression , anxiety ( as do 1000's of other First Responders and people ) have tried to survive with for so many years before ending up scrurring around the dark alleyways beyond paranoid – beyond scared, beyond the point of no return – hopeless – hungary and totally given up on ever wanting to breath another breath of air, or see another dark night.Words will never describe what its actually like to be on your hands and knees begging for your life , looking up at the very people you used to risk your life for and wonder, why cant you hear us , why cant you see us , you used to thank us for our service, you used to smile at us when we came to your rescue and here we are now needing someone , anyone , please help us , please hug us.* I really can;t even begin to tell you how this feels to even sit here now with this feeling that , this Bill being tabled – is by far the best thing that can happen to all of our Emergency Services, and is a start to bringing more help to anyone suffering with Mental health Challanges . Thank you to all of you who helped sign our petition, and flip our tire over many mountians and especially for helping share our posts with your friends and family in order to get to this stage of the game , where , when this Bill passes – ( as long as NDP get the mahority of votes ) then history will really be made .This is a tough post for me to write about , cause , it really brings up alot of happiness, but , for some reason I have been feeling over whelmingly sad and depressed knowing that , even thought this is tabled and accepted for a second reading, its the people who are out there right now DYING to get some help, and in reality ..it might not come if our current Government doesnt make some changes now .I will never forget what the feels like, to be sitting and hopeing tommorrow will bring some sort of hope, some sort of answer, some sort of solution, support , something .That feeling when your step kid isnt eating , or you can barely pay your bills, or are even so far in debt , it just feels like you are 20 feet under water reaching for the surface and wth each passing wave, you sink deeper and deeper, with each breath , your soul and spirit becomes more and more disconnected .I had better stop writing now , and give you more time to watch history in the making – Great work Shane Simpson – Much Respect Brother – ( today May 9th is last day to vote for John Horgan ) Katrina Chen, BC NDP Candidate for Burnaby-LougheedBC NDP Women's Rights CommitteeElect Bobby Deepak, BC NDPDana Larsen for BC NDP leaderBC NDP Surrey-White Rock Provincial ConstituencyBurnaby North BC NDPSue Powell, Parksville Qualicum NDPHarwinder Sandhu BC NDP Kelowna Mission 2017Kal TireMountain FMWhistler BlackcombSummit Lodge Boutique HotelCreekside Dental WhistlerVancouver Police DepartmentMounted Police Professional Association of CanadaDistrict of North Vancouver Fire and RescueVancouver Fire & Rescue ServicesSurrey Fire Fighters Association IAFF Local 1271Paramedics on FacebookParamedicsPTSD In Paramedics, EMTs, First RespondersYour Province, Your ParamedicsNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline '1-800-273-TALK (8255)'Nesters Market & Pharmacy – WhistlerPasta LupinoScandinave Spa Whistler

Posted by Its Not Weak to Speak on Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Its Not Weak to Speak –  @notweaktospeak

This has been a very difficult post to try and write. How do you explain in words how it feels to go from the darkest depths of the devil’s belly – after living for many years slowly losing your family, 3 attempted suicides, loosing your career, countless treatment centres, detox centres, doctors, shrinks, and more meds than your local pharmacy has in store as we speak.

Years and years of trying to prove to Worksafe BC that your Post Traumatic Stress, and all the symptoms are work related.

How does one express how it feels to travel the world, and shake many people’s hands, and tell the story to every news, radio, newspaper, website, podcast, and all social media as to how important it is that we bring more public awareness not only to PTS – but also to this Bill M203.

Last year, with the help from all of our sponsors and 100’s of volunteers the day finally came true, when we had the honour to be invited to sit and be witness to a change in history when Shane Simpson – tabled Presumption of Illness during our #ITSNOTWEAKTOSPEAK tour

Thanks to @Shane Simpson – BC NDP and to the over 6000 people across Canada who have helped sign our petition. Finally, the moment we have all been waiting for.

Under the Workers Compensation Amendment Act, when a First responder is diagnosed with a Post Traumatic Stress Injury, it will be deemed as a result of their occupation.

This will end the hurdles around WorkSafeBC claims and the related unacceptable delays that too many of our Public Servants who need support are facing today.

Lets not get to excited yet, because this same Bill was tabled last year, and the Liberal Government wanted nothing to do with it – therefore, since then, this last year in BC alone, 19 more of our Public Safety workers have ended their lives, leaving there familes behind, with again ZERO HELP from Worksafe BC .

Its time to make serious changes in todays Goverment.

100 years ago (1917)

306 Soldiers 23 of them Canadians, were lined up and executed by firing squad for being considered “Cowards” because they were showing signs of what we call today – PTSD

These men, (some only 17 – 19 yr old boys) had their blindfolds removed before being executed to show how Brave they really are.

100 years ago – (1917) – Worksafe BC was founded.

Worksafe BC Mandate is as follows –

Our organization was established by provincial legislation as an agency with the mandate to oversee a no-fault insurance system for the workplace.

* We partner with employers and workers in B.C. to do the following:

  • Promote the prevention of workplace injury, illness, and disease
  • Rehabilitate those who are injured, and provide timely return to work
  • Provide fair compensation to replace workers’ loss of wages while recovering from injuries
  • Ensure sound financial management for a viable workers’ compensation system

SURE LOOKS GOOD – SOUNDS GOOD –

The only thing that has changed with Worsafe BC, in the last 100 years is that we have gone from shooting people with PTSD – to just leaving us out to rot and die by suicide all alone still without any help what so ever.

Ummm, did I miss something in the mandate I just read?

In order for a First Responder to feel safe in asking for help, He or She needs to be sure it’s actually there for them.

** note ** I have written over 110 000 words regarding my personal feelings on this Bill and how important it is that it passes through legalisation, I have beat my head against walls these last few weeks trying to minimize my words and facts about WCB – and my conclusion to it all, is this .

It’s far too much, far too deep, far too dark to write about in a facebook post so for my own sanity, I must keep this post as simple as it is –

* forgive me for not being able to find it in words to describe how it feels to have a rifle down your throat, forgive me for not being able to express in words just how it feels to be absolutely shit on by these worksafe animals , or how to minimize my words as to how it feels to lose your soul mate, your family, your career, the nightmares, the overwhelming amount of stress, depression, anxiety (as do 1000’s of other First Responders and people) have tried to survive with for so many years before ending up scurrying around the dark alleyways beyond paranoid – beyond scared, beyond the point of no return – hopeless – hungry and totally given up on ever wanting to breath another breath of air, or see another dark night.

Words will never describe what its actually like to be on your hands and knees begging for your life, looking up at the very people you used to risk your life for and wonder, why cant you hear us, why cant you see us, you used to thank us for our service, you used to smile at us when we came to your rescue and here we are now needing someone, anyone, please help us, please hug us.

* I really can’t even begin to tell you how this feels to even sit here now with this feeling that, this Bill being tabled – is by far the best thing that can happen to all of our Emergency Services, and is a start to bringing more help to anyone suffering with Mental health Challenges.

Thank you to all of you who helped sign our petition, and flip our tire over many mountains and especially for helping share our posts with your friends and family in order to get to this stage of the game, where, when this Bill passes – (as long as NDP get the majority of votes) then history will really be made.

This is a tough post for me to write about, because, it really brings up alot of happiness, but, for some reason I have been feeling over overwhelmingly sad and depressed knowing that, even thought this is tabled and accepted for a second reading, its the people who are out there right now DYING to get some help, and in reality ..it might not come if our current Government doesn’t make some changes now .

I will never forget what the feels like, to be sitting and hoping tomorrow will bring some sort of hope, some sort of answer, some sort of solution, support, something.

That feeling when your step kid isn’t eating, or you can barely pay your bills, or are even so far in debt, it just feels like you are 20 feet under water reaching for the surface and with each passing wave, you sink deeper and deeper, with each breath, your soul and spirit becomes more and more disconnected.

I had better stop writing now and give you more time to watch history in the making –

Great work Shane Simpson – Much Respect Brother –

(today May 9th is last day to vote for John Horgan)

Katrina Chen, BC NDP Candidate for Burnaby-Lougheed
BC NDP Women’s Rights Committee
Elect Bobby Deepak, BC NDP
Dana Larsen for BC NDP leader
BC NDP Surrey-White Rock Provincial Constituency
Burnaby North BC NDP
Sue Powell, Parksville Qualicum NDP
Harwinder Sandhu BC NDP Kelowna Mission 2017

Kal Tire
Mountain FM
Whistler Blackcomb
Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel
Creekside Dental Whistler
Vancouver Police Department
Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada
District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue
Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services
Surrey Fire Fighters Association IAFF Local 1271
Paramedics on Facebook
Paramedics
PTSD In Paramedics, EMTs, First Responders
Your Province, Your Paramedics

Interview at Roundhouse Radio

**YOUR CITY, YOUR VOICE – ITS NOT WEAK TO SPEAK**

ON THE AIR with Don ShaferRoundhouse Radio
Listen now – http://bit.ly/2pj8btJ

Please welcome Terrance Joseph Kosikar to the BC Legislature

Member of the Legisltive Assembly – Shane Simpson welcomes Terrance Joseph Kosikar to the BC Legislature.

POWER OF THOUGHT – “Please welcome, Terrance to the Legislature”

One hour after the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was over, most of Canada was cheering, and celebrating.

Unable to bare the overwhelming amount of guilt, shame, and the unforgiving feelings of depression and anxiety that had built up every time I heard a cow bell dinging, or saw a yet another happy face walk by as they cheered, I had left the track that night and chose to die by suicide..

4 days later, I sat in my doctors office, wondering why in the hell I had spent so many years risking my life to respond to the public’s Emergencies, and out of nowhere, here I was trying to die by suicide?

My doctor says to me, “ I think you may have PTSD”. This was the first time I had ever heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

He then referred me to a physciatrist for a professional diagnosis.

Problem was, the shrink only came to Whistler once every 3 months. So in the meantime, I was handed a few perscriptions to try and prevent me from trying to end my life again.

By the time shrinky poo came to town, 3 months later, do you think I wanted to say anything to this woman?

I didn’t know her, I didn’t trust her, I didnt believe in her, I was so heavily medicated, believe me, she was the last person on earth I was about to tell my homicidal thoughts or my suicidal feelings to.

The last thing I wanted was to be sentenced or diagnosed with a “DISORDER”.

It’s bad enough that my father spent his entire life housed in an institute for the criminally insane, Its certainly not where I wanted to end up also.

I tried to be the tough guy, and mask my feelings, hide my true thoughts, and avoid putting all my nightmares on the table in fear of her having me committed to a nut house for the rest of my life.

BIG MISTAKE

1 year later, I found myself checking into the Vancouver Detox Center, after being fired from my job at Whistler Sport Legaices for “not acting the same since the Olympics”, and for abusing the drugs (meds) that the doctors had me jacked up on that entire year to, “numb the pain, the feelings, the thoughts”.

I hadn’t eaten anything over those Christmas holidays, and had been violently puking blood uncontrollably before checking into detox that New Years day.

I was advised by the bosses at Sport Legacies (as they were firing me) to make a claim with WCB, for a workplace injury.

They had told me that PTSD is a workplace injury and that they would take good care of me the same as they took care of a few other employees that had been working during the games who also filed for PTSD .

At this point, I still had no idea what PTSD was, nor did I feel it was an injury. I assumed like most people do, that an injury is obvious. I mean I had been a First Responder for over 7 years, and never have I ever heard of this sort of injury, or it’s signs, or symptoms, nor how to respond to it, or treat it.

After years of jumping through the BS hogwash hoops like a circus monkey, with the loss of my careers, my livelyhood, the loss of my friends and family, on top of being dragged through a system that looks great proceedurly on paper but in real life is the most crooked, smoke and mirror show I have ever seen. Along wth many attempts at ending my life, self drugged and heavily medicated until I lost everything and ended up not even knowing who I was or why I was …

27 Chapters later …

Just last year, during our Breaking the Chains BC – PTSD Awareness program, I had opened up my Worksafe BC Occupational First Aid Level 3 book, and flipped through over 500 pages and couldn’t find ONE SINGLE SECTION, page or even the word PTSD in it.

Just so happened only a few days later, I was doing a radio interview on 101.5 Whistler FM, when the lady interviewing me mentioned how only days earlier a man named Shane Simpson MLA – Vancouver Hastings had just tabled Bill M203, Presumption of Illness, an amendment to the 2016 Workers Compensation Act .

(those were actually pretty big words for a guy like me, and really had no idea what any of it really meant.)

I had the next 27km of flipping my tire over 7 mountains to think about this man, and how amazing it would be to one day meet him.

I wanted more than anything in the world to just have 5 minutes of his time, to let him know first hand just how vital it is to all Emergency Service Providers that this Bill he had introduced gets passed.

With each flip of my tire, I would always lower my head though, knowing I am really just a nobody, just a ol washed up First Responder who lost his job, lost his family, I had no money, no pull, no status, still eating food bank donations, and I didn’t even own a cell phone.

Pffft, as if a guy like him, a politician, a Member of the Legislative Assembly would ever in a million years EVER, even have 1 second to look down at me, let alone – know I even existed on this earth.

I used to day dream over and over that one day, maybe just one day, I would be somebody, somebody special enough to get to cross paths with this man and or his team.

With these days dreams in mind, these postive goals and dreams put out to the universe each day, with each meditation. I had received an email from a man named Jim McCallistar, Director or British Columbia Search and Rescue who wanted to meet us to help flip our tire while in Victoria.

While talking with Jim outside the Legislature Building, Shane Simpson came outside to invite myself and our teammates into the house gallery the next day to have the honour to watch and listen in person while Shane introduced Bill M 203 into Legislation.

After going through some pretty serious security, we sat in the gallery, looking down at the entire BC NDP – over 40 members.

I can tell you now, this was by far the absolute coolest, most badass experience I had ever lived through. After all the years of many struggles, here I was, INSIDE a room where history is made. Where government makes decisions that structures how us, the people live or die for.

This all seemed like a crazy dream, one I have certainly never had before, never in my wildest day dreams, but this was about to get alot more real than I had ever imagined.

The Honourable Speaker, Ms Linda Reid, says the words “ Vancouver Hastings”

I then saw Shane stand up and my gut got all fuzzy inside, I was about to witness him introduce Bill M203, The Presumption of Illness, a Bill that our team had slaved 20 hrs a day, 7 days a week for over a year to bring more public awareness to with our tire flipping programs and online petition.

My teeth were clinched tight, my paws were even shaking a little bit as the fur on my arms started to stand up with excitment.

YES, this is really happening.

The next thing ya know, Shane says “ Thank you Honourable Speaker, Honourable Speaker, I’d like to introduce Terrance Kosikar who’s here with his colleagues.

My jaw about hit the floor, Shane went on to talk about who I was, and the work we do this last year to raise awareness to post Traumatic Stress.

When he was done talking he didn’t even introduce the Bill yet, but asked the entire house to Welcome me, a small fish backcountry farmer, TO THE LEGISLATURE .

All 40 members of the BC NDP, and all members of the Liberal Government smiled as they looked up into the gallery at us, and clapped.

This is by far the greatest, most special moment of my entire life – I stood up, in total shock, bowed humbly, sat back down and enjoy every single tear that rolled down my face onto my lap.

Please join our – Its Not Weak To Speak “Page” , as we will be posting the rest of our PTS tour on this page rather than our personal page.

Thank you for your time and support .

Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel
Kal Tire
Whistler Blackcomb
Mountain FM
BC RCMP
Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness
British Columbia Search and Rescue Association
Paramedics on Facebook
Paramedics
PTSD In Paramedics, EMTs, First Responders
Your Province, Your Paramedics
Ambulance Paramedics Of BC
EMS, Fire, Police, 911 Dispatch
Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Alberta
Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba
Royal Canadian Mounted Police in New Brunswick
Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia
Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Ontario
Mount Pleasant Police Department
Mounted police
FirefighterNation.com and FireRescue Magazine
Fire Rescue Fitness
PIAA
Scandinave Spa Whistler
The Loft Salon Whistler (604)935-0044
Ergogenics
Clean-Life Twc
Pasta Lupino
Nesters Market & Pharmacy – Whistler
Blackcomb Snowmobile
Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW)
Creekside Dental Whistler

Photograpghy –
Joern Rohde Photography
Kevin Eisenlord

Prison guards flip tire to bring awareness to PTSD

Original article published on Vancouversun.com by GLENDA LUYMES

AGASSIZ, B.C. — In the shadow of a guard tower at Kent Institution, correctional officers added their voices to the first responders calling on the B.C. government to do more to help those struggling with work-related post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s — not — weak — to — speak,” the officers yelled, each word punctuated by the flip of a giant tractor tire symbolizing the weight of PTSD.

The event at Mountain and Kent prisons Wednesday was organized by Terrance Kosikar, one of the first medics on the scene when Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died at the beginning of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“PTSD is not a disease, it’s an injury that we can heal from,” said Kosikar, who struggled with PTSD in the weeks after the Games. “We should call it an injury because it’s more accurate, hopeful and honourable.”

Among correctional officers, mental illness can carry a stigma, said Derek Chin, regional president of the Canadian correctional officers’ union. “Many of us don’t want to show weakness.”

However, officers deal with violence on a regular basis. Not only are they sometimes the target of violence, they also deal with inmates who have hurt each other or have tried to harm themselves.

“This job requires you to be a jack of all trades,” said Chin, explaining that officers do some of the same tasks as police, firefighters and paramedics inside prison walls. “We are the first responders to a variety of situations.”

Corinne Blanchette, Union of Canadian Correctional Officers adviser, supports an NDP bill recently tabled in the B.C. legislature, which, if passed, would add a presumptive clause to WorkSafe B.C. legislation. The bill would make it easier for first responders suffering from PTSD to get immediate access to counselling by assuming PTSD claims by first responders are related to their work. To deny a claim, WorkSafe would need to prove otherwise. The government hasn’t supported a similar bill in the past.

“Claims would be accepted sooner and officers would get treatment faster (with presumptive legislation),” said Blanchette. “If you wait to be treated, your symptoms can become more severe.”

The union adviser said she’s been involved in PTSD cases and appeals that take two or three years to be completed, including one for a female guard who was stabbed by an inmate.

Chin said Kosikar’s message was mostly well-received by the officers at the prison complex in Agassiz, although the event did hit a bump in the road. During a speech to officers at medium-security Mountain Institution, Kosikar revealed that he spent time behind bars in the U.S.

“That brought up some feelings and uncertainty for some of the officers in attendance,” said Chin.

The union decided to cancel Kosikar’s speech at maximum-security Kent.

Kosikar took it all in stride. While he didn’t speak to officers at Kent, two joined him to flip his tractor tire along a perimeter fence beneath a guard tower.

“When you strip away the uniforms and you strip away the mistakes of the past, we’re all just people, and sometimes we need help,” he said.

PTS Awareness – Day 1 – I RELAPSED

** I RELAPSED **

By trying to get as “HIGH” as possible … up Cloud 9, on Whistler Blackcomb ,with our tractor tire to raise awareness to Post Traumatic Stress, Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery.

Day 1 – Flipped 1.7 kms – 728 Vertical meters

Our goal also was to bring more public awareness to Bill M203, “Presumption of Illness”, and ask the public we met along our journey to help us flip our tire, and sign our petition that would hopefully persuade our Provincial Government to pass this bill into Legislation.

Bill M203 -2016 Workers Compensation Amendment Act –

This Act amends the Workers Compensation Act in order to provide support and care for British Columbia’s first responders. The Act creates a presumptive clause for first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. In recognition of the crucial role paramedics, firefighters, police officers, and others play in ensuring the health and safety of British Columbian’s, this Act guarantees that they will receive timely support and treatment when they are suffering from exposure to traumatic events.

Raising awareness to any cause is a extremely difficult task.

Especially when it involves Emergency Service Providers and their families on an international level, adding to it, the fact that in Canada alone over the past 2 years, 179 First Responders have died by suicide.

YOU are driving down the road, holding your wife’s hand, as the sound of your children’s giggles in the backseat warm your thoughts, when out of nowhere, S M A S H – you get hit by a truck who just ran a red light.

I don’t need to paint this picture, you see what I see, the smell of gasoline lingers in the air, your hardly conscious, you look to the backseat, there isn’t one, the sound of flames crackle in the background as you can barely reach for your cell phone to call 911.

“Dispatch 911, what is your emergency?”

You explain the tragically gruesome scene to the dispatch agent.

Response from the Agent –

“Sorry but we can’t respond to your emergency right now, but if you go visit our website, and take the next 3 months time to simply jump through all our bullshit hoops, then please get signed off by 3 different doctors, and check yourself into a treatment center, but before you do that, you will also need to submit your last 15 years of medical records, then if you do have any money left, we will need you to just answer 750 of our scientifically proven to make sense to somebody questionnaire”.

If you haven’t taken your own life by that point from watching your family suffer more and more each day, we will be sure to give you a few more meds to numb the pain and your suicidal thoughts, umm wait sir, before you hang up – we will need to confirm your mailing address so we can be sure to mail your very first denial with 37 more pages of hoops to jump through before you begin the appeal process.

Thank you for calling Worksafe BC, we sincerly hope all works out for you, and if you do live long enough to make your way through all the smoke and mirrors, not to worry, we do have 3 more departments on stand by that make bigger salaries than you would in 20 years of your life to be sure you DO NOT PASS GO.

Our current system, through WorkSafe BC, is NOT DESIGNED TO HELP in any way shape or form.

Dial tone…

THIS IS THE EXACT PROCESS THAT 1000’s of our Canadian Emergency Service Providers currently are dealing with on a daily basis when they finally do reach out for help after they have suffered in silence long enough after many years of responding to our emergencies.

Your sit and question yourself as you thought you called 911 to get help, but all seems like a total blurr now, cause all of what you just heard is absolute “HOGWASH BULLSHIT”, and is so absolutely unbelievable, you begin to feel you’re in some sort of time warp on another planet.

I did not look up these facts on the internet, I have personally lived through this procedure, and answer my phone 24 hours a day from many Police Officers, Paramedics, Corrections Officers, Firefighters, Nurses, and Dispatch 911 Operators across Canada, who some are now on their 3rd – 9th year suffering minute by minute as they try and prove they deserve the help the minute they ask for it, just as we get the help the minute we call 911.

IT’S TIME TO MAKE THE CHANGES – NOW – WITH ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSES – P E R I O D.

It breaks my heart at least 3 times a day over this last year and a half with the amount of tears shed, the amount of families I’ve listened to that are no longer. The amount of sadness in the voices I hear. All they did was their job, and now to be treated like criminals in a court of law, trying to prove their PTSD is work related.

People ask me, “Hey Terrance, why in the hell are you flipping that tractor tire up the side of a glacier, waist deep in snow, in -10 degree weather?

The answer is as simple as this, we can raise awareness to PTSD all we want, but how about some cold hard facts about our system which has yet to educate us properly on the signs and symptoms of PTS or give immediate treatment for those who suffer with them?

After many years of peeking our the blinds, the loss of my family, friends and careers, the amount of years I’ve spent contemplating suicide, the amount of ridiculous hoops I’ve jumped through, how many times I’ve had a rifle down my throat or side of my head, the amount of tears shed, and doors closed is my face, or knives in my back.

I will climb to the top of every mountain around the world for the rest of my life until one day we can help make changes so NO OTHER Emergency Service Provider or their family will ever have to endure that sort of pain and suffering for another minute.

ITS NOT WEAK TO SPEAK … so I just did.

My deepest, most sincere apologizes that this post is not full of unicorns, rainbows, and pink balloons, but there is just no way I can sit here and candy coat a very serious topic like Post Traumatic Stress, and the facts that our current Provincial Government / Workers Compensation Act is not helping our Emergency Service Providers that suffer from a Post Traumatic Stress Injury the minute they ask for it.

Unacceptable.

Please, take a minute to sign our petition, and share it with a friend, co worker, instagram it, tweet it, whatever it takes – NO MOUNTAIN TOO HIGH.

HELP SIGN PETITION

I’ll FKING KILL YOU – (sign of Post Traumatic Stress)

20 minutes after Nodar Kumaritashvili was pronounced at the Poly Clinic, some fancy suited guy from the Vancouver Olympic Committee comes walking into the room, looks at us, and all he says was, “WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT THIS TO NOBODY”.

“Not our friends, not our family, not our co- workers, not the media – NOBODY”.

I sat slumped in my chair, gazing down at the dried blood that had soaked into my boots, the sound of the heart monitor still echoing through mind, my heart, my every breath seemed to just beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

You ask yourself, where are my tears?

Why am I not feeling the loss of this young kids life, who I had just spent, what seemed like hours, crushing his ribs as I pushed on his heart harder and harder with each 1 and 2 and 3 and 4.

No words needed, as he stares at me as if to send that last telepathic message to his family, his girlfriend, his brother, the bone chilling screams of his coaches and trainers as they arrived on scene that day, will certainly haunt me till the day we meet again.

You grit your teeth, but not too hard, cause this isn’t really happening, this is just one of those dreams you will wake up from any minute, no tears, no talking, emotionless, as your look down ashamed of yourself, fighting the mind from trying to convince you that this was your fault.

Hours later, I stood alongside 3 other medics. As we boarded the gondola, some drunk Australian kid came stumbling into my peripheral vision and without thought, I turned around and knocked him out cold with 2 quick punches to the head.

3 of his buddies came running to his rescue. I reacted immediately in defense mode as if they were coming to attack me, I grabbed the one kid by the back of the head and just started feeding him shots to the body with a few upper cuts over and over again.

Totally possessed by some sort of higher power, There was absolutely no thought or care to anything I was doing as I tried dragging this kid into our gondola, as I yelled at him “I’ll FKING KILL YOU” little MFKer (punch punch punch).

I had lost my mind, and had absolutely no reason whatsoever to smash these 2 totally innocent people like that.

The doors closed and everything went very quiet, total silence as we rolled over the first tower towards the village.

I’ll never forget the feeling of total confusion as I stood staring down onto the lights in the village. The medics were all saying something to me , but it seemed like they were speaking different languages, and again, that dream feeling , where you sit there and know you are dreaming , and this is that moment where you wake up in cold sweat , gasping for a breath, panicked as you try to explain to your lover this crazy nightmare.

(not a dream this actually happened) – chapter 4 – Let the Games begin

I DIDN’T SLEEP OR DREAM AGAIN … FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS.

I get asked all the time, “ Hey Terrance, why in the hell do you flip that big ol stupid tractor tire mile after mile, across, up and over mountains , through lakes and rivers?

The answer is simple,

To raise awareness to Post Traumatic Stress, and all the signs and symptoms that go with, so we can begin to understand and prevent anymore of our Canadian First Responders from dying by suicide, and leaving their careers, friends and families behind wondering …why?

ITS TIME TO MAKE SOME CHANGES – weather our current BC Provincial Government likes it or not.

This is totally unacceptable, especially when these are the men and women who risk their lives to save ours on a daily basis.

They respond to our emergencies, it’s time we respond to theirs.

Our Mental Health Facilities, Programs, and Insurance companies are broken and failing us beyond belief. Sure they all look good on paper, but how many people do you know who have been through the smoke and mirror, BS, hogwash system and come out on the other end and actually went back to work as healthy as they started?

You will not find this person, they do NOT exist, and as we speak now, over the last 2 years there are 179 Police, Fireman, Paramedics, Corrections Officers, Dispatch 911 operators, nurses, and soldiers 6 feet deep now.

These are the stats on the ones who have come forward over these last 2 years, that had been battling for years to get the help they deserve after being diagnosed with PTSD.

The numbers on the suicide rates within our First Responders who have not been diagnosed im sure are 10 times as staggering. Believe me, I’ve been there, and currently speak to many across our entire country who are all very close to just throwing in the towel.

Would you blame them for feeling this way. after years of trusting your current government, and assuming you risk your life for people who would take care of you and educate you and make sure your safe, and your family is taken care of if anything was to ever go sideways, life.

Please take a minute to go to our website and help by signing our petition, that I will personally hand deliver to NDP, MLA Shane Simpson next week who in turn will present this Bill M 203 – into Legislature.

www.itsnotweaktospeak.com

This photo was taken on Feb 13th 2017 … 7 years and one day after Nodar was killed.

Clearly, this is just the way it was written, many moons ago.

Thank you for your time, support, and helping share our awareness program with your friends and family .

WE RIDE FOR PTSD

Family Day – WE RIDE FOR PTSD – Slednecks  Kalle KJ Johansson

During the planning of this years PTS – Mental Health – Addiction – Recovery Awareness Tour – I sat and thought to myself, if it were up to me, as to how I wanted to kickoff our month long tour, where could I see myself on opening day ?

The answer was easy .. with close friends and family, off in the backcountry mountains of British Columbia, riding snowmobiles with a few of the top sled riders in the world – Colin RichardsonBarrett Hepburn,  Kalle Johansson, and Jeff Drummond.

I picked up the phone, and made a few quik calls from our office in Germany to my brothers – not only were they super stoked to help kick off our ” ITS NOT WEAK TO SPEAK tour, but KJ brought his girlfriend and daughter Nika –

WE RIDE FOR PTSD – the worlds first Mental Health Awareness Snowmobile Ride – be sure , this is now going to be an annual event

Mother Nature Heals All .

LAST KISS EVER – ITS NOT WEAK TO SPEAK – PTSD

HEROS ARE HUMAN – LAST KISS EVER

IT IS CRITICAL THAT FIRST RESPONDERS UNDERSTAND THAT ASKING FOR HELP WHEN NEEDED IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH .. NOT WEAKNESS

Only 20 minutes after RIP Nodar Kumaritashvili, was prenounced at the Poly Clinic on opening day of the 2010 Winter Olympics, we had been given strict instructions by some fancy suited fella .

“We DO NOT TALK about this to nobody, no media, no friends, no family, NOTHING, to NOBODY”. Immediatly swept under the rug.

THE GAMES MUST GO ON .

The 4 of us, that had tried for over an hour that day to save Nodars life, were still in total shock from not only witnessing him hitting a solid steel post at 153 kms per hour, but also trying to bring him back to life as we rushed code 3, lights and sirens to the Poly Clinic.

As per First Responder protocal, for all Emergency Services, this is where a Critical Incident Stress Debrief team should have come to talk with us.

You would assume that with a 7.2 billion dollar price tag on the games, a special team would have been put in place to deal with such a tragic accident in case their was one.

I assure you, this did not happen.

A debrief after a call like this or any code 3 call is MANDATORY, as it is an absolute vital stage in helping ground and complete the cycle in the first responder, or any human who dealing with that adrenilyn that is trapped in their nervous system, that will lead to Post Traumatic Stress if not dealt with immediately.

To make more sense of what I just said, a debrief after a bad call, or to Joe public who has just endured a life threatening situation or witnessed any sort of traumatic event or even a major surgery, it is as vital as putting pressure on a deadly bleed right away.

Not tommorrow, not next week, not next year, but now.

Problem is, in Canada, First Responders, we still have that old school mentality.

That we need to just suck it up, or you will be considered broken and weak if you speak about how this truely affects you as a soldier, or a emergency care giver / HUMAN BEING.

Their is barely even minimal prevention training in any of our class rooms, and we have that additude that we are the hero, the soldier who carries a weapon that kills, we are the one who rushes into the burning inferno to save the person who is screaming for their life, or police man, who hunts down the serial rapist and dodges bulllets, or ambulance attendant who helps bring back a drug overdose, or responds to a teen suicide or bad MVA ( motor vehicle accident) when body parts can be found strung up and down the highway for a 1/2 km.

What the public sees, is a nice shiny red fire truck, or a flashy silver badge, or maybe even a man or woman with nice uniform knowing they are all easily qualified to save your life if you were to drop now.

Canadians all know that no matter what time of day we call 911, we are confident that a dispatch agent will take our call, and dispatch the proper emergency response team to OUR emergency right away.

What the public is totally unaware of is that those people who answer the call, or guard the prisoner, and risk their life every single day just to be there for us when we need them, are left out in the dark when they have an emergency or need the help themselves.

Most public I’m sure feels that because all First responders are paid by the government with your tax dollars, that we would get the same kind of help the minute we ask for it.

We’ll Im going to tell you straight up, when a First Responder in British Columbia goes to get some help for a wound that is not visible, (PTS) we are doubted, and forced to spend many years trying to prove that our injury (Post Traumatic Stress) happened from doing our job.

This comes at a very heavy cost to the First Responder and his or her family.

9 times out of 10 they are denied the help after years of hoops with WCB, fired from work, and considered broken, and left out in the cold, homeless, addicted, penniless, and is why we now have 179 First Responders who died by suicide over the last 2 years in all of Canada.

If you’ve been following our Breaking the Chains BC.com journey over this last year, you’re familiar that I have been working over seas for many months in Germany, with all Chief Commanders of every Emergency Service department, along with top ranking officials from the German Air Force learning why their suicide rates over the last 20 years, dont even compare to 1/100th of our suicide rate over just the last 2 years here in Canada .

I’ll sum it all up without a huge 9 chapter story here.

They have come a long way since WW2, and have learned many lessons to help prevent any of their Emergency Services from suffering in silence.

Their PTS (post traumatic stress) awareness, prevention and after care programs are top shelf, above and beyond ours in Canada 10 fold. Its almost as if they are 3000 years ahead of our times. Oh wait …THEY ARE !

In reality, our country is only just 150 years old? Think about how new we are and how much we clearly have to learn still. very possible.

In Germany, and Australia, you are not considered weak if and when you speak about how you feel, and you are supported, cared for and given the help the MINUTE you ask for it. No questions or bullshit WCB circus hoops to jump through for years, while you stand at the hospital doors looking for a band aid as your family sits at home bleeding out of love and support financially, mentally, physically and spiritually.

As you’re aware, also, I have been working closely along side some top Canadian Politicians, Police Chiefs, Ambulance attendants and Fire Chiefs, all agree that it’s certainly time for change. Problem is, our Provincial govermnent is not prepared to help, nor do they feel your tax money should go to helping our Provincial First Responders who are human and are killing themslves at a rate that is totally unacceptable. Especially when its our emergencies they are responding to.

It’s now time for us to respond to their emergency and bring them the help they desrve code 3!

There are already 5 other Provinces in Canada who have passed through Legislature the, “Presumption of Illness”. Meaning when a Policeman, Fireman, Corrections officer, Paramedic, and even Dispatch 911 agent needs help, it’s presumed that their injury that is not visible, happened at work. Only in Briitish Columbia, and a few other provinces, you must spend years trying to prove your injury happened at work.

How in the hell is a person with a mental injury supposed to do such a rediculous thing, and not only how, BUT WHY?

When working overseas, all Emergency Services are completely appauled at our current Provincial Government, as most lower their heads and feel the sadness as they know how vital it is to get the proper care before a bad call (prevention education) during and after (debrief, support).

2 days before Christmas, I was sitting in a Emergency Dispatch call centre talking with my new friend Eric Schneider (911 agent), and asked if he thought any of his team from his Volunteer fire hall would like to have me come to the hall and talk more about PTS.

He said he’ll send an email out to his team, but maybe only 4 or 5 guys would show up because it would be Christmas eve, and they would all be spending time with their familes.

I understood, and the email was sent to his team at the Feuerwehr Oberursel-Mitte,

I didnt have any expectations, especially cause it was Christmas eve, but to my surprise, the very next day – 27 firemen / women all showed up to listen, and learn even more about PTS, and help support our Canadian First Responders with our new social media challange – and help us spread the word internationally – the simple fact that .. ITS NOT WEAK TO SPEAK.

This is something that is very important for German First Responders to do, take care of each other, and constantly practice talking, and supporting each other on a monthly basis, year after year, not just from a 1/2 page workshop note book, or assume that our Department actually has a policy, plan and procedue that is prepared to handle our needs when we are injured.

If you have a WCB training manual, 500 page book, 80 hour course, I’ll invite you now to please open up this entry level 3 first aid course that WCB offers to all First responders.

NOT ONE WORD or SENTENCE ON PTSD – where is the prevention in British Columbia?

If you’ve been hired on as a POC firefighter in BC, and you’ve taken the 11 months of training to get your pager, do you recall ever learning about PTSD?

I recall learning how to fold tarps for 8 hours a day for 3 days straight, but not even one minute on anything about Post Traumatic Stress .

We train train train to help the patient, or make the scene safe. I thought our safety came first ?

It certainly does in most other countries, why NOT Canada?

RCMP? Let me ask all of you who have graduated depot Division , how many days of training did you take shooting bad guys targets and polishing your boots as they de humanized you?

Ok, and how many weeks, days or even seconds did they teach you about any signs or symptoms of PTSD and what can and will happen to you over time. We are only human, and it’s natural, but we need to be more aware before we break (period).

It’s not your fault, our system is merely broken and can be fixed with more public awareness to this problem. Lets think long-term – together .

Why are we waiting until we are broken to get fixed, and on the same note, we don’t even have any “shops” that can or will, or are ready to even fix us when we are broken. This is a huge problem.

If WCB, or any other departments, don’t have an aftercare plan in place – then they sure as hell better start teaching some more prevention for the people who risk their lives and famlies lives everyday that serve the public.

IT IS CRITICAL THAT FIRST RESPONDERS UNDERSTAND THAT ASKING FOR HELP WHEN NEEDED IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH .. NOT WEAKNESS

Our second annual PTS / Mental Health awareness tour that begins on Feb 10th 2017 – aimed to de-stigmatize PTSD website has officially launched today. www.itsnotweaktospeak.com

If you feel our Provincial Government should make some changes through Legislature, then please visit or website now and sign our online petition for Petition for Presumption of Illness / Bill M203.

Time to help the people, who help us – NO QUESTIONS ASKED !

#itsnotweaktospeak

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Viewer descretion is advised, may cause trigger / PTS Awareness

Post-traumatic stress survivor launches book and tour

Terrance Kosikar’s at the monument to Nodar Kumaritashvili. Kosikar, 43, was a first responder at the Whistler Sliding Centre when the Georgian luge athlete Kumaritashvili fatally crashed during a training run on Feb. 12, the day of the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Kosikar says he has suffered PTSD from the tragic event. Photo: Joern Rohde

Original article published Jan 3, 2017 – Jennifer Thuncher / Squamish Chief

Though it has been almost seven years, Terrance Kosikar’s voice still fills with emotion when he recalls the tragedy.

Kosikar, 43, was a first responder at the Whistler Sliding Centre when Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili fatally crashed during a training run on the day of the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Though he went back to work after the traumatic event and put on a happy face, a downward post-traumatic stress spiral had begun.

Kosikar tried to commit suicide several times in the coming years and fell into drug addiction due to the guilt and flashbacks over the fatal crash, he told The Squamish Chief.

Recovery for Kosikar has been a long road that includes keeping fit, spending time in nature and finding purpose in helping others with the disorder.

Over the last year he has worked to raise awareness about PTSD and to lobby for change to both attitudes and legislation that hinders first responders’ access to help.

Kosikar is launching a book about his experiences and a new campaign this February.

“The true facts of why we are where we are today,” he said of the self-published book, Let the Games Begin, that will be launched Feb. 12 on the seventh anniversary of Kumaritashvili’s death. The book will chronicle Kosikar’s life and the events surrounding the death.

He will be flipping a huge tractor tire in Olympic Plaza to draw attention to his cause, starting at 1 p.m. that day. The event will launch Kosikar‘s “It’s Not Weak To Speak” campaign that will take him on a 1,152-kilometre journey around B.C.

The campaign aims to de-stigmatize the disorder and gain further support for a private member’s bill he inspired last year.

Shane Simpson, Member of the Legislature for Vancouver-Hastings, introduced the private member’s bill M203, Workers Compensation Amendment Act 2016, in the legislative assembly in February.

Should the bill, which passed unanimously on first reading, ultimately be adopted, WorkSafeBC will assume a first responder who develops PTSD did so because of their job. Alberta and Manitoba already have such legislation.

Currently in B.C., Kosikar said it is a complicated process to be approved for benefits through WorkSafe if the claim is for PTSD. He was denied both his original application and his appeal and asked for 10 years of his medical records in the process, he said.

“We know today that first responders, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, 911 dispatchers, sheriffs and corrections officers, suffer PTSD at more than double the rate of the general population,” Simpson said when introducing the bill, according to the official transcript published on Simpson’s website.

Since 2014, 179 Canadian public safety and military personnel have died by suicide, according to The Tema Conter Memorial Trust, which tracks such deaths.

A WorkSafeBC spokesperson said the organization could not comment on proposed changes to legislation, but said if applicants were not happy with a WorkSafe decision they could appeal.

Between July 2012 until Dec. 31, 2015, WorkSafeBC accepted 415 claims for PTSD, according to the spokesperson.

The organization is currently adjusting its tracking requirements so that future data can reflect claims that are initially filed, but that information is not currently available.

For those who may be suffering with PTSD, Kosikar said the key is to reach out.

“Talk to your friend, your brother, your co-worker, your boss,” he said. “What you are living with and feeling today, there are many other people out there who feel the same way.”

For more on Kosikar’s campaign go to, itsnotweaktospeak.com.

If you feel suicidal call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). For mental health support call 310-6789 (no prefix needed).

@ Copyright 2017 Squamish Chief – See more at: http://www.squamishchief.com/community/post-traumatic-stress-survivor-launches-book-and-tour-1.6153500#sthash.L2NcSnYO.8oboYdUA.dpuf

Recovery Is Possible: A Paramedic’s Story

TWC Alumni Clive Derbyshire Shares His Truth On CBC

Together We Can alumni and first responder Clive Derbyshire was recently asked to conduct a video interview on CBC News Vancouver. Clive shared his thoughts pertaining to the overdose epidemic in our city as well as his own personal struggles and triumphs in recovery.

Paramedics and firefighters in our province have experienced an onslaught of misery and trauma this year due to a seemingly endless successions of overdoses. There were 622 apparent illicit drug overdose deaths from Jan to Oct 2016 in BC and the death toll at the end of the year is projected to be over 800. 

According to B.C.’s ambulance paramedics union representatives, first responders have dealt with as many as 170 calls a day related to the fentanyl crisis this past year. 

With emergency rooms more crowded than ever and naloxone failing to counteract fentanyl overdoses, these brave men and women have a difficult time seeing any light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Clive speaks about how important his time at TWC’s Alliance Program was for him to form a solid support group of like-minded individuals with similar goals and aspirations in recovery. Before his interview on CBC, Clive spoke at the Overdose Candlelight Vigil on December 17th  in honour of those who have lost their lives.

As a BC paramedic, “empathy fatigue” and PTSD symptoms fill Clive’s ongoing journey in recovery with a complex series of barriers and obstacles. The resilience and perseverance he has shown is truly remarkable and we could not be more proud of his accomplishments thus far.


“They have to reach out for help. They have to ask, and for that to happen, the stigma of addiction has to go away. Until people can see through that and people feel safe to reach out and ask for help then there’s a barrier to any kind of help.”

– Clive Derbyshire

Originally posted on TWC’s website. Original article can be found here