Great Outdoors: Heroes for Heroes Go Fishing

DULUTH, Minn. – Heroes Helping Heroes is a group that helps create a support system for first responders both active and retired, dealing with stress and mental health challenges in their professions. To do this, they put on activities like charter fishing trips.

“We’re helping to raise awareness and let people know, hey, we see horrific things on a daily basis, we are human, this stuff gets to us and we need to start treating and coping with mental health issues and the first responder community so we can keep our men and women safe,” Heroes Helping Heroes President and Founder, Chris Steward said.

The Lake Head Boat Basin donated seven charter boats and took out twenty members, a combination of police, fire, and EMS to go fishing on Lake Superior.

“We don’t facilitate any conversations, we don’t don’t make you talk about your feelings. These things happen organically whether your a firefighter from Grand Rapids or your a police officer from Minneapolis; when people get together they have this common bond,” says Steward. “Our goal is obviously just to get people out have them have a fantastic time. If they want to have a conversation start a conversation, but it’s all about having a good time and letting them know they are not alone. There’s a lot of other people who are in very similar situations that they are and if they need help they can reach out and get the help that they need.”

Heroes For Heroes is always welcoming first responders to join and there are currently over 460 members throughout the state.

“A lot of times we have to be stoic at work, we can’t show emotion because that shows weakness, and rightfully so. But, there’s also a time when you need to vent, to release, and to cope with the things you’ve seen,” Steward said.

“We’re proud to support these guys and get them out on the water. It’s first responders, you know they deal with PTSD on the job and it’s really important for them to come out and do some recreational activities, kind of ease the burden of their experiences,” James Addiction Charter Fishing, James Hall said.

This is the second year the group has gone out with James Addiction Charter Fishing and the goal was to catch trout and walleye. To find out more about Heroes for Heroes or if you’d like to donate to their cause, you can visit their website or social media page.

“I think it’s just really nice for them to be able to come out relax on the water. We’ve all got really nice boats here. It’s easy to spread out enjoy the beautiful weather that we are having like today and just kind of hang out on the boat and be together and then we have a barbeque just afterwards. So, we will be eating some food and sharing some stories together,” Hall said.

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