Former EMT running 50 miles to support police, veterans
Sabrina Payeur, who was an EMT on ground zero on 9/11, is running to raise money for police and veteran training across the nation
By Judi Currie
DOVER, N.H. — For an athlete to volunteer for a tough assignment in the name of charity is not uncommon, but Sabrina Payeur first decided to run 50 miles, then decided it should be a fundraiser.
"I have done other things for charity in the past but I haven't run any marathons in a few years. I have been keeping it low-key," Payeur said. "A few months ago I decided I needed to challenge myself, and thought I'll run 50 miles."
Payeur of Dover said she thought Gloucester, Massachusetts, might be about 50 miles so she went online and mapped it and it is just about 54 miles. She said she will make the trek on Saturday, Aug. 19.
"I don't always think things through – I just do them," Payeur said. "I told some friends and one said why don't you do it for charity since you have done that before. My first thought was my sister and brother-in-law. They just started this new foundation and it is amazing."
The Stay Safe Foundation, created by Payeur's brother-in-law Eric Basek and her sister Amanda, offers training to police officers and veterans across the country.
"They took both of their backgrounds, he was police officer and she has worked for nonprofits helping veterans for years, and together created something amazing," Payeur said.
Basek, who is based in New Jersey, was on his way back from Montana on Friday where he had been training police officers and shared his philosophy for the foundation. He opened up Blue Titan Fitness & Self-Defense and committed full time to teaching in 2013.
"I had a small business and decided it should feed into a charity where we can do the most good, so I created the foundation," Basek said. "My father and I were EMTs at ground zero on 9/11 so public service is all I have ever known."
He said when municipal budgets are tight training is the first thing to go; and most departments do only the minimum required by law like weapons training just twice a year.
"It is a travesty how little training officers get once they leave academy," Basek said. "The over-arching principle is the better trained an officer is, the better they can serve the community."
Basek said he also likes to send people to instructor courses so they can become an in-house resource for their police department. He said in smaller departments officers often hold multiple roles within the organization.
He said he is proud of Payeur, even if 50 miles sounds a bit crazy to him.
Payeur said she has done marathons and triathlons but this is the longest run to date. She has had to fit the demanding training into her lifestyle.
"One of my kids was in Nashua for a state championship and I didn't want to miss the game," Payeur said. "So I drove to Nashua and ran a loop around the field for 30 miles so that I wouldn't miss the game."
Payeur said if people want to make a contribution to her effort they can go directly to the foundation site at www.staysafefoundation.org.
"This is awesome," she said. "I know I have great friends because people are going to run portions with me throughout the course. I have a pit crew that will take turns and be there for me all day long."
Payeur said she also has a sponsor who is making T-shirts for everyone who is helping her.
"It's great," she said. "I was just going to try to figure out how to stash water along the way. Thank goodness for my friends."
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