Challenge set for local ambo

THE 10th anniversary of the Eureka Climb will see participants from all over Australia and overseas race to the top of Melbourne’s tallest building on November 19.

The emergency services challenge will be even more competitive this year with the Ambulance Services, SES and Victoria Police teams even more committed to catching Metropolitan Fire Brigade’s unbeaten team.

Don Gillies from Outtrim is a paramedic taking part in the emergency services challenge as the captain of the Code 9 you are never alone team. Code 9 is the police radio code for police in trouble

The challenge will see Don and his teammates climb 1642 steps, or 88 flights.

“There are two paramedics, two police officers and one assistance dog on the team,” he said.

“Our team members have been affected by post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Part of the reason we are taking part in the challenge is to help motivate within the Code 9 group.”

Don said one of the common issues with PTSD, depression and anxiety, is that people tend to become stagnant and not want to go outside.

He said setting achievable goals is important for people suffering from PTSD.

“Although the stair climb is a reasonably substantial goal, it is good because it presents a challenge but there is also a social atmosphere to it,” he said.

“It shows internally to the Code 9 crew that you can set a good goal and work towards it.”

Don said the challenge was achievable for everyone and he was hopefully his team will all get through with a reasonable time.

“Personally, I am hoping to do it in under 20 minutes,” he said.

On the day of the challenge the Code 9 team will also be wearing their Code 9 singlets, helping them to stand out among the other emergency workers taking part in the challenge.

Don said he and his team entered to help raise the level of community understanding of the issues regarding the mental health of first responders in general and specifically to reduce the stigma associated with PTSD.

“We will all be there on our PTSD journey, doing the same thing as everybody else,” he said.

The Eureka Climb raises money for disadvantaged people at home and abroad for charity partners Whitelion and Interplast Australia and New Zealand.

The Code 9 team has raised about $400 so far.

Don has been training for the challenge for a few months and said he has been doing a lot of leg work and cardio.

“I thought I would go in and set the ramp on the treadmill to maximum incline and it would be easy enough. It wasn’t,” he said.

“After training for a couple of months it has become easier, so I am hoping to do reasonably well.”



Removing stigma: paramedic Don Gillies from Outtrim will be taking part in this year’s Eureka Climb and will take on 1642 steps to raise awareness of post traumatic stress disorder.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23113

Posted by on Nov 8 2017. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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