View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst is taking on the challenge of the Wounded Warriors Canada Run to help erase the stigma military personnel and first responders face dealing with mental health issues. (Photo courtesy of Paul Hurst)

View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst is taking on the challenge of the Wounded Warriors Canada Run to help erase the stigma military personnel and first responders face dealing with mental health issues. (Photo courtesy of Paul Hurst)

View Royal fire chief gears up for Wounded Warrior Run

February run from Port Hardy to Victoria offers support to members of military and first responders

“I’m hurt. I need help.”

There’s a stigma attached to those five words that make it difficult for members of the military and emergency services personnel to seek assistance, explained View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst.

Erasing the stigma involved in reaching out for mental health support and services and making it easier to seek the help they need is the motivation behind Hurst’s decision to take part in this year’s Wounded Warrior Run BC, which raises funds and awareness for Wounded Warriors Canada.

ALSO READ: PHOTOS: Wounded Warriors raises more than $155,000 during 2020 run

“There are three generations of the military in our family and my daughter Megan is currently at Royal Military College,” noted Hurst, a member of View Royal Fire Rescue for the past 36 years.

“There’s been nothing in place for so many years, so I want to make sure my daughter and my colleagues in emergency services and their families have support when they need it. Wounded Warriors is one avenue to raise awareness, but there’s still lots of work to be done to get people comfortable with seeking help.”

Hurst first volunteered two years ago for the run, which involves eight runners doing 15 to 20 kilometres a day between Port Hardy and Victoria, a distance of roughly 600 kilometres.

“I got the good news that I’d been accepted in September and started training,” Hurst said. “My mind is 20 years old but my body isn’t,” he added with a chuckle.

“It’s going to be a challenge and it’s taking some time, but I’ve been training hard to condition my body for repetitive days and distances. I’m confident I’ll be ready to go on opening day.”

ALSO READ:

View Royal salutes Fire Chief Paul Hurst’s service

Wounded Warrior Run BC takes place from Sunday, Feb. 21 to Sunday, Feb.28, with an opening one-day event that consists of a run from Sidney to Sooke scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 7.

Significant consideration has been given to the implementation of COVID-19 safety protocols to protect team members and the communities they travel through.

All government regulations will be adhered to, and the safety plan created by frontline workers within the team and safety representatives is prepared to adapt to any changes provincially or locally that may be implemented during the run.

“The team and seven support staff have gone to great lengths to prepare,” Hurst said. “There’s an incredible group of people involved in the organization.”

All of the funds donated from Vancouver Island will go toward supporting members of the military, first responders and their families on Vancouver Island.

To donate to Wounded Warrior Run BC, sponsor a specific rider or a section of the run, visit woundedwarriors.ca/events/wounded-warrior-bc-run/.

“Every dollar raised helps those who have dedicated their lives to helping others,” Hurst added.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

View Royal Fire RescueWounded Warrior Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
Potential for snow in Greater Victoria after unusually wet December, January

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

Local MP Elizabeth May says the federal government needs to revise its rules around allowing freighters to anchor in and around the Gulf Islands. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May promises to press new transportation minister on issues important to Vancouver Island

Key issues include anchoring freightes, southern resident killer whales and fate of local bus line

Firefighters respond to a fire on Heatherly Road in Colwood Jan. 19. (Photo courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)
Two people escape injury in Colwood house fire

Heatherly Road fire started on a covered porch

Royal Bay Secondary School (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke School District alerts community to coronavirus positive case at Royal Bay secondary

Contact tracing underway after potential COVID-19 exposure Jan. 15

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

Most Read