Tucson Firefighters ‘Fetch Food for the Fallen,’ focus on mental health awareness

Tucson Firefighters ‘Fetch Food for the Fallen,’ focus on mental health awareness
Crowds showed up for the 18th Annual 'Fetch Food for the Fallen' Sunday at Frog & Firkin. (Source: Tucson News Now.)

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - There wasn’t a fire to put out at Main Gate Square Sunday.

Instead, Tucson firefighters were serving food for a good cause.

Frog & Firkin was filled Sunday for the 18th Annual Fetch Food for the Fallen event, which benefits the Local Fallen Firefighters Memorial fund and several charities.

This year, all the tips and money raised will be donated to Axes In Arms, a family outreach program that offers financial assistance to members of the Tucson Fire Department who are in a state of crisis due to a death, injury or on going health issue.

This year, the department had an emphasis on mental health awareness, with our brave first responders exposed to tough, traumatic events over their careers.

“We’re trying to encourage firefighters who have these types of exposures over time to say, ‘Hey, I need help’ and reach out," said Mike Carsten, who has worked with the Tucson Fire Department for 20 years.

“A stunning statistic was last year, there were more firefighters who took their own lives than we had die on duty, on the fire ground. So, that is a significant issue in the fire service that we need to take a proactive approach with,” Carsten said.

Frog & Firkin and Tucson Firefighters joined forces for the event after 9/11 as a way to give back to the first responders in the community.

Carsten said $60,000 has been raised for the foundation through this event over the last 18 years.

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