A pair of local first responders are preparing to honour one of their own. Grande Prairie Search and Rescue Volunteer Kristy Haysey and County Firefighter Calorado Hudkins will be running the obstacle course race known as the Tough Mudder in memory of EMT Dustin Sieker. Haysey says they knew they wanted to run for a local charity and happened to pick this one.
“We decided that we wanted to run the Tough Mudder and it would be awesome to do it for a local charity and the Dustin Sieker Legacy Fund was just the charity that stuck out to both of us. We decided that we were going to try and build a team for the Tough Mudder and raise some money in the process.”
Sieker died by suicide last May at the age of 36 after battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to his work. Hudkins didn’t know Sieker personally but worked some calls with him. He says it’s important to offer help to others who may be dealing with the same things Sieker did.
“Just in the few shifts that I managed to work with him, he’s a great guy. It’s sad to see mental health deteriorate the lives of the people around us especially in the brother and sisterhood that we are all a part of. It was something that was just close to home. First responders; we all stick together, we’re all a big team.”
Along with the run, Haysey and Hudkins set up a GoFundMe page. The money from that fund will go towards helping the legacy fund provide a scholarship for a student paramedic and will go to mental health programs for first responders in Grande Prairie.
Hudkins is also the founder of True Heroes Coffee Co. Around $5 from every bag of coffee sold will also go towards the GoFundME. To donate or to join the Heros are Human Tough Mudder team, visit their page. The Tough Mudder 8 to 10 mile run will take place June 15th in Whistler, BC.