At the sound of the alarm, runners took off, sprinting for a cause.
“To remember, Jeremy Knott, he was a dedicated firefighter. He was a friend and family member to so many, he impacted them,” said friend and colleague, RaShad Dacus.
Knott was an engineer with the Omaha Fire Department for 12 years, fighting his own mental health battle with PTSD, answering his last call in 2019.
“A lot of times as first responders, we don’t prioritize our mental health. So this is just a reminder that as first responders, we do need to take a look at our mental health and make sure that we’re doing okay,” Dacus said.
Using the first, “Knott Forgotten Memorial Run,” to ensure others aren’t suffering in silence.
“It’s something we deal with every day. And it’s not just first responders, but it’s military people. It’s people in service-oriented industries, all organizations are seeing the rise in some of these issues,” Battalion Chief Robb Gottsch said.
He said sometimes the signs are there.
“We see some things where people are struggling, and it’s easy to confront and start asking questions, and then to encourage them to get help,” he said.
But that’s not always the case for everyone.
“It’s some of those that are very private people may see maybe that as a sign of weakness, or that it’s not our responsibility, or that I’ll deal with it myself,” Gottsch said.
He said life can be a challenge, so if you’re struggling, help is out there.
“And things can kind of spiral out of control at times, and we want people to get help if they need help. And that’s what we’re there for,” Gottsch said.
All proceeds for the memorial run are going to the First Responders Foundation, to aid in mental health support.