The challenge has been issued: Raise funds for public safety by assembling teams that compete in a 5K race. Or just run for fun and support.
Fit-4-Duty is about promoting training for police, fire and EMT personnel throughout Maine. Spokeswoman Lisa Duncanson said the fourth annual Fit-4-Duty 5K run will take place Saturday, August 20 in Windham. Teams assemble at the high school canopy where they begin and end the race under a fire department ladder truck suspending an American flag.
“Anyone can enter,” said Duncanson. “Some race simply to raise funds for the cause, others from the public safety sector do it in the spirit of the profession. We’ve had ladies pushing strollers and even children participating. One team from Raymond Fire ran in full dress gear.”
Winning teams in the 5K race are determined by the average course time of all the runners in each group. The winning team takes possession of the Fit-4-Duty trophy for one year.
A number of teams have already registered for this year’s run, including representatives of Windham’s public safety departments and Windham Correctional Center.
“We are encouraging wider participation, and anticipating teams from surrounding towns,”Duncanson said.
Funds raised from Fit-4-Duty support two or more scholarships awarded each year to high school seniors planning a career in public safety and for those working in the field who want to pursue higher certification. For example, according to Duncanson, one of the 2015 recipients was Windham EMT Michael Dube who pursued a license to become a paramedic.
Since 2013, Duncanson said more than $7,000 in scholarships has been awarded to nine recipients. And she added, “The goal is to expand participation in the run and in turn the number of scholarships.”
Money is raised from donations, the sale of T-shirts, corporate and local business sponsors and from entry fees paid by Fit-4-Duty participants.
The race is held each year in honor of Lisa’s husband, Rick Duncanson, a Windham fire/rescue lieutenant who died in 2012 after 26 years with the department. He was known for encouraging and supporting public safety personnel, especially younger members of the department, to grow professionally.
Find more information for the Fit-4-Duty 5K on Facebook or register at racewire.com/register.php?id=6164