FARMINGTON – On Sunday, May 21, NorthStar EMS will be doing a “stretcher push” from its Sugarloaf base in Carrabassett Valley to Franklin Memorial Hospital to bring awareness to the mental health struggles of first responders during National Mental Health Awareness Month and National EMS Week.
The stretcher push event consist of a stretcher being pushed by two EMTs, followed by a NorthStar ambulance with lights flashing for safety purposes and a banner attached to the front stating “Code Green Campaign: In this family no one fights alone and everyone goes home.”
According to organizer Alexandria Lynch, a paramedic at NorthStar, the goals of the event are to bring awareness to the prevalence of mental health challenges in first responders and to eliminate the stigma that prevents individuals from admitting these issues and asking for help.
The event starts at 6 a.m. and it’s expected to take about 12 hours to make the 35-mile trip. Spectators are welcomed along the route to show their support for the Code Green Campaign. There will be approximately 18 first responders putting in the miles to support this cause.
First responders include: firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, dispatchers, police, corrections, and search and rescue.
NorthStar EMS is a department of Franklin Memorial Hospital dispatched out of five base locations in its service area: Rangeley, Livermore Falls, Carrabassett Valley, Avon and Farmington. NorthStar also operates an Interfacility Transfer Division servicing six other MaineHealth hospitals.