“He was extremely loving and caring and it’s not often you meet a person that special,” says Colton Tiedeman, Dustin’s partner. “Just watching him interact with his peers, friends, family and strangers I knew he was a genuine soul. He was hands down one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen or felt.”
It was a shock to many when Dustin died by suicide in May 2018 at the age of 36. From that shock and grief, friends and family banded together to help raise awareness of the effects of PTSD in the first responders and the increasing rate of suicide among this population.
With a successful career as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and EMS Operation Supervisor in Grande Prairie, Dustin was an integral part of the first responder community in Grande Prairie.
“Dustin was the backbone to EMS and first responders. He worked hard and always had a smile on his face. He was a father figure, a supporter and a friend to many; his colleagues were his family,” says friend Danielle Joly.
In recognition of that smile and big heart, Dustin’s family and friends came together to ensure his legacy lives on, establishing the Dustin Sieker Fund with the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta. The Dustin Sieker Legacy Fund will focus on offering student awards for advanced care paramedics and will also contribute to mental health programs in our community including suicide awareness and PTSD.
For Dustin’s family – parents Doug and Belinda Sieker, sister and brother-in-law Amanda and Chad Longson, nephews Landon, Jaxson, Hudson, as well as sister Ashlee Pollock, nieces Cailley and Mckenna and former brother-in-law Jamie Pollock – ensuring his legacy continues is incredibly important.
“Dustin was very dedicated to helping people and was passionate about his career as a paramedic and first responder,” says Belinda. “Even though Dustin has passed, the fact that his name/fund will continue to give back and support the community is massive to us.”
“Dustin was a friend to everyone he knew,” says best friend and mentor Jamie Pollock. “When we would go to the hospital to check on things, he would talk to everybody. He knew all of the hospital by their first name…he had this ability to make others feel at ease and make you laugh.”
Whether it was on the job or hanging out with family and friends, Dustin’s personality shone through. “His nieces and nephews adored him. He really was the best uncle ever. He enjoyed spending time with the kids, playing and getting into trouble with them, being a big kid himself,” says Jamie. “His family and friends filled his heart.”
While those who knew him have their memories, Dustin’s impact will continue to be felt by those who never had the chance to meet him as the Dustin Sieker Fund will focus on offering student awards for advanced care paramedics.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the person I met and got to share my life with,” says Colton. “I am excited to see what’s in store in Dustin’s honor and the scholarships that will be awarded to Paramedic students in the future.”
You can make a difference in our community – not only for today but forever. When you make a donation to the Dustin Sieker Legacy Fund, we invest that gift into a permanent endowment fund and the original gift is never spent. Earnings from your gift is distributed to a student award and through grants to mental health programs in our community. Donations can be made online here – https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/37407 or by calling the Community Foundation at (780) 538-2820.