First responders are known as heroes to their communities.
The ones who run in when most run out.
The ones who save and protect, no matter the circumstances.
FF Danny Alvarez was that kind of hero.
Until one day, he lost the hardest battle he ever had to fight,
We fight fires, criminals, diseases. We defeat unimaginable odds.
Yet PTSD and Mental Health is another battle many of us struggle with.
A battle we must win, to honor those we’ve lost, and to protect all of us who are still here,
We walk with the weight of the burden our brothers and sisters carry everyday on their shoulders
to combat a stigma that has gone on for far too long,
and to show those who are hurting they will
Never Walk Alone.
Never Walk Alone was born in 2015 after the tragic loss of City of Miami FF Danny Alvarez.
What began with one firefighter alone, now encompasses over 230 first responders from over 20 different agencies who participate in the Miami Half marathon event, raising awareness for post-traumatic stress in first responders, dispatchers, military, and our health care workers. Aside from raising awareness, we provide resources and educational seminars for those we are committed to and their families.
We focus on building a safe and welcoming environment for first responders and the military, where they can seek help and create awareness around mental health and PTSD. We are committed to fighting the battle of an illness first responders deal with on a daily basis. Our goal is to come together as a community and shine a light on mental health awareness. We strive to find better ways to create support, making sure our brothers and sisters who are hurting know they will Never Walk Alone.
Danny Alvarez was a breed of his own. He was the life of the party, a top-level firefighter, a proud father, and the guy everyone wanted to be around. After a tireless fight, Danny lost his battle to PTSD in 2014. Today, Danny continues to bring us together.
Danny's memory continues to be honored through this cause. It has allowed others who have lost their peers in the same manner, a place where we come together and honor them all as we walk.
It is more than just walking - it is making sure that every step taken combats the stigma associated with PTSD in first responders. It is time to change the conversation and make some progress in this highly stigmatized topic which affects each and every first responder.