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B.C. Mountie walking from Vernon to Oyama and further to raise awareness of on-the-job PTSD

RobFarrer
Sgt. Rob Farrer. (via B.C. RCMP)

Seeing a beat cop walking around town isn't uncommon, but Vernon Mountie Sgt. Rob Farrer is taking that a step further.

Actually, many, many steps further.

Farrer started off from the Vernon RCMP detachment this morning (Oct. 6), around 7 a.m. on a walk that'll last around 60 hours. He's headed to the town of Oyama, then around Wood Lake until finally heading back to Vernon, according to a press release.

A single lap is just under 240 km.

The reason Farrer is headed out on to the Okanagan Rail Trail isn't just for a nice hike, the police officer is trying to raise awareness of operational stress injuries for first responders. They're related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In a post online he writes that part of his inspiration comes after a pair of fellow officers died due to suicide, including one he worked with for years.

"More and more research is showing that the number of police officers with PTSD or related occupational stress injuries is well over double that of the general public and sadly this often leads to significant decreases in quality of life of both the officers and their families," says Farrer in the press release. "While not always curable, PTSD can be dealt with in a positive way in order to achieve a meaningful life. The first step is to reach out for help."

As part of his efforts, Farrer is running a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a 'Courageous Companion' — a dog specially trained to help people suffering from long term operational stress injuries. It costs around $25,000 to train a dog to become a companion, according to the release.

Farrer's walk starts a day after the Honour Ranch opening in Ashcroft. Read more about that HERE.

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