June is PTSD Awareness Month, and each June, the Brandon PS teams up with police officers and staff with the RCMP, Manitoba First Nations Police, Rivers PS, Brandon Fire & Emergency Services, Rural EMS, Rural Fire, Canadian Armed Forces, Brandon Corrections, Brandon Regional Health Centre, Westman Crisis Services, and Emergency Communications (Telecoms). We team up in Brandon, MB to participate in a 1/2 marathon cycling or running to raise funds and provide awareness and promote psychological wellbeing. The event is called Project Resiliency 911 and is promoted through the website https://pr911.weebly.com/
BPS Employee Wellness Team Chair Constable Amanda Conway and the team with Beyond The Call did an amazing job coordinating many volunteers to direct and care for close to 90 participants registered to cycle or run. Today June 4th, we withstood over plus 30C temps (Humidex 35) and I'm happy to share that my wife Sheryl & I bested our last years finish and came in 6th and 7th place. However, the most meaningful part of the day was being able to connect with my BPS peers outside of the workplace and to share conversations with officers and staff from other police agencies, fire & paramedic services, E911 dispatchers, Corrections staff and more.
BPS Police Chief Wayne Balcaen (pictured below with Kristen Tompsett - Director of MFNP) and BF&ES Fire Chief Terry Parlow (pictured above) brought greetings from their respective agencies. As BPS Chaplain, I had the privilege of giving thanks and praying for protection for all participants and volunteers (picture after story). Prayers during the week were answered because we did not have to combat the 64km/h head wind we faced last year. Winds were calm; thus, I think the ones who had the toughest job were the volunteers positioned throughout the city and the highway who had to stand in the scorching sun. Thank you so much for keeping us safe at a multitude of intersections and providing hydration for us at five stations.
Events like these are so important to continue the conversations regarding mental health and are an opportunity to come together outside of the workplace to share in camaraderie. It's just one example where a police chaplain can continue to bond with police officers, staff and families. As a police chaplain, you may not feel you can engage in a 1/2 marathon, but there are so many places throughout events like these where you can serve.
If you serve your police officers during PTSD Awareness Month, please send me a writeup and some photos so that I can put together a Blog story and we can celebrate together examples of Canadian police chaplains "serving those who serve with excellence."
BPS Chaplain/Constable Bruce Ewanyshyn
ICPC Director Region 1
Prayer of thanks and protection:
BPS Employee Wellness Team Chair - Constable Amanda Conway: