Members of the Surrey and White Rock fire departments present their combined $500

Members of the Surrey and White Rock fire departments present their combined $500

Surrey, White Rock firefighters gift $500,000 for mental health

Surrey and White Rock firefighters have donated $500,000 to Peace Arch Hospital’s new emergency department.

Surrey and White Rock firefighters have made a joint donation of $500,000 to Peace Arch Hospital’s new emergency department.

As a thank you for the “monumental gift,” the waiting area of the new Mental Health and Substance Abuse Zone, as well as the seclusion room and quiet/consultation room will be named in the crews’ honour, Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation officials announced Wednesday.

“This incredible gift from the Surrey and White Rock firefighters supports our community’s need for mental-health services,” executive director Stephanie Beck said in a news release.

Surrey Fire Fighters Association president Mike McNamara described the two groups as “committed to identifying the needs and making a difference in their communities.”

And first responders see those needs first-hand, said White Rock Fire Fighters Charity Association president Scott Booth.

According to the news release, as the population of White Rock and South Surrey increases, the number of patients requiring mental-health treatment increases accordingly.

The expansion of the hospital’s ER facilities, and the creation of a dedicated Mental Health Treatment and Substance Abuse Zone, is to help ensure medical staff can provide a higher level of care for mental-health patients, many of whom are the most vulnerable and sensitive patients encountered at the hospital.