May 1st is First Responders Day

In celebration of our Ottawa First Responders, we’d like to share the stories and experiences of some of our first responder board members, and let you know how you can help.

There is Need - Brenda

Brenda is a Volunteer Fire Fighter and the President of the Ottawa First Responder Foundation

There is Strength - Lorraine

Lorraine is a Paramedic

There is Hope – Brent

Brent is a Police Officer and a Board Member of the Ottawa First Responder Foundation

Did you know?

Paramedic symbol

First responders are much less likely to reach retirement than the average Canadian. This high attrition rate, especially in paramedics, is linked to the mental health demands placed on responders and their families.

Icon of group of people

PTSD doesn’t harm just first responders who develop it: it can have unintended consequences for their families and co-workers.

Mental health symptoms

About 45% of Canadian first responders have symptoms consistent with at least one mental health disorder.

How can you support first responders?

Say hi and smile!

Say Hi and smile!

OFRF Logo icon

Heart Window Campaign – print off or make your own version of our heart logo to stick in the window of your home to show your support for Ottawa First Responders (Click to download PDF)

Be an open ear

Ask any first responders you know how they are doing and be an open ear if they need to talk.

Resource list

If you notice shifts in their behaviour, encourage them to reach out (see our resource list here).

Events calendar

When not in isolation, attend or host events in support of first responders and their mental health


Donate to the Ottawa First Responders Foundation

How are we supporting first responders?

Our focus is on augmenting the services that already exist for Ottawa First Responders, but also extending that support to retirees, veterans and families of first responders.

Currently, we are:

Support group

Forming Peer 2 Peer
Support groups

Three first responders services

Building connection within the three services

Cllinician network

Creating clinician network access for mental health support

Physical wellness centre

Planning a physical wellness centre for first responders and their families

Thank the first responders around you!

Happy First Responders Day!

In this family, no one stands alone.