Firefighters play hockey to ‘Break the Ice’ about mental health issues

Day-long tournament held Friday at Surrey Sport and Leisure Centre

Players James Pistrin (left) and Kalum Iverson (right

FLEETWOOD — Surrey firefighters and others put on their hockey gear to “Break the Ice” about mental-health issues faced by first responders.

An annual day-long hockey tournament on Friday (Oct. 16) featured 11 teams in action at Surrey Sport and Leisure Centre on Fraser Highway.

When it was launched in 2011, the tourney benefited a snack program backed by Surrey Fire Fighters Association.

This year, the focus was put on mental health awareness and education. Funds raised will support the association’s related charitable initiatives, said Mike McNamara, president of the union.

“The one driver here is that the fellow who ran the tournament for the snack program was Ernie Dombrowski, and he was the second (Surrey) firefighter who took his own life last year. He was the guy who started this tournament and ran it,” McNamara told the Now.

“We want this tournament to continue out of respect for everything he’s done to make it happen, and it was a good fit for us to change the focus to mental health,” McNamara added.

“Ernie’s wife and son were there for the final game, so it was nice to have them there.”

During last year’s tournament, McNamara played on a “Class of 1995” squad that included Kevin Hegerty, a fellow Surrey firefighter who took his own life in March after years of struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

This year’s tournament had “a lot of positive energy and attitude around it,” McNamara said.

“It really felt that way, with the bad year we had, you know, it was the fellows coming together and remembering the fellows that we lost. It was also about spending some quality time together and raising awareness about the issue of mental health, too. It’s all really important.”

The high-tempo Competitive Division games included teams from Surrey, Delta, Vancouver and Burnaby.

“The action can be really good because we have some ex-NHLers in some of the departments,” McNamara said. “It’s pretty fun to watch.”

The association’s school snack program will continue to benefit from other fundraising efforts, he said.

“We still strongly support the snack program (and) we have a lot of resources going there, so we changed the focus of the tournament and the proceeds from it will go to our mental-health initiatives,” McNamara explained.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

Just Posted

Surrey councillor defends SOGI 123 stance after resigning from AutismBC

Laurie Guerra stands by her opposition to SOGI 123 resource as backlash over meeting comes to a head

PHOTOS: Hockey history in Surrey as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

Proposed coal project for Fraser Surrey Docks back in court

It could be months before the federal appeal court renders a decision

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Surrey to hear news on Olympic softball qualifier bid next week

Decision, originally expected in September, was delayed by World Baseball Softball Confederation

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read