Two Haweaters on Sudbury police to be superheroes for little heroes

Superheroes for Little Heroes

SUDBURY—Two Haweaters who are members of the Greater Sudbury Police Services (GSPS) Tactical Unit will join their colleagues to be ‘superheroes for little heroes’ later this month.

“It’s for a great cause, and it’s fun,” said Kyle Chandler who, along with Brett Burnett, are from Manitoulin and are both members of GSPS. They will be taking part in the Superheroes for Little Heroes annual event—a fundraiser for children at Health Sciences North (HSN).

In 2016, the GSPS tactical unit was looking for a way to give pack to the pediatric unit and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of HSN through the NEO Kids Foundation. “Many of our personnel know far too well how the invaluable, compassionate and lifesaving services provided by the staff of the pediatric unit and NICU can have a lifelong impact in the most helpless and trying times,” a release states.

“The tactical unit is our most highly trained unit with the police service,” the release continues. “They deal with the most volatile individuals and high-risk situations. As a hostage rescue team, the entire unit is rappel certified. This is where the idea for Superheroes for Little Heroes was born. Our officers chose a career in policing, to run towards danger while others run from it, but the real heroes are the children who didn’t get to choose perfect health. They get up every morning fighting for their future with positivity and determination.”

It also states Halloween is a holiday that many individuals take for granted while going out trick-or-treating dressed up in their favourite costume. For many children and their parents, this isn’t possible due to hospitalization.

“Both Brett and I are with the Greater Sudbury (Police Service) tactical unit,” said Mr. Chandler. “There are 12 of us in the tactical unit and two us are in the explosive disposal unit.”

“This will be the third year this Superheroes for Little Heroes event will be taking place at the hospital. We do it for the NEO kids,” said Mr. Chandler. He explained the officers don their favourite Superhero costume and rappel down the towers of HST that house the pediatric unit.

Mr. Chandler noted, “the event has become very successful and popular. HSN received a lot of public support, so this year’s event will include not only the children and families in HSN, who we visit after rappelling down the towers, but this year the event will include school-aged children as well.”

“This year we will be rappelling down the south tower of the hospital. I’ll be Batman and Brett will be dressed up as Thor,” said Mr. Chandler.

GSPS collaborates with NEO Kids Foundation on Halloween or close to it, to put on the Superheroes for Little Heroes event. It is a community event where everyone is invited to attend, dress in their favourite costume and watch the superheroes rappel form above. Community organizations are able to sponsor the event each year and community members support the event by purchasing rappel rope to assist the superheroes in making it to the ground.

“Over the past two years over $50,000 has been raised through the event,” said Mr. Chandler. “This is a fundraiser for NEO Kids.”

This is the third year for the event which will be taking place October 28 at 11 am. Following the rappel a barbecue will be hosted by NEO Kids Foundation and Marek Hospitality Inc.

Mr. Chandler served nine years in the Canadian Forces Infantry and has been a member of GSPS since 2007, joining the tactical unit in 2012 where he fulfills the role of sniper and police explosive technician. Mr. Burnett was previously a special constable with the OPP Little Current detachment for two years before joining GSPS in 2008 and becoming a member of the tactical unit in 2014, where he fulfills the role of sniper.