1st Responder Conferences is committed to the emotional, physical, and spiritual well being of the public safety work force and work with leaders in the public safety profession to make this possible. We recognize that first responders are our greatest asset and we feel it is our responsibility to create a climate that supports good health and resiliency.
We are dedicated to promoting awareness at our conferences surrounding the difficulties of the profession and inspiring conversations that minimize the stigma associated with the stresses our first responder’s experience. We provide solutions for agencies, individuals, and family members who find themselves faced with a personal crisis. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for all who dedicate themselves to protecting and serving others.
1st Responder Conferences partners with Blue H.E.L.P. and Code 4 NW, which are non profit organizations. We work together to make sure all first responders get the resources they need to live a happy and healthy life!
Our conferences are for all 1st responders, police, fire, military/veterans, corrections, dispatchers, chaplains, retired 1st responders, spouses, professional staff, clinicians, and all who work in the public safety field.
1st Responder Conferences presents a multi-faceted two-day seminar and networking event for improving the mental health and wellness of our first responders. By discussing the real 21st Century issues that are consistently facing our first responders and their families, our conference will provide awareness, resources and action items to combat PTSD, depression, suicide, addiction, stress, and overall mental health.
1st Responder Conferences proudly introduces a line-up of credible nationally recognized speakers who will address matters that impact the personal and professional lives of all first responders and their family members through dynamic and engaging presentations for the entire first responder community. Every conference is unique! We continually focus on mental health and wellness, but we provide different speakers to ensure you are receiving the most up to date information and knowledge that there is to offer. Our two-day seminars also differ in that your spouses or significant others who support you are invited to come learn with you.
With a progressive and forward message of optimism and sustainability, 1st Responder Conferences goal is pushing past traditional silence and bringing first responder wellness to our America's Heroes.
We are passionate about helping and educating America's Heroes! Please join us at one of our conferences to learn more about first responder wellness, so we continue to be healthy and able to help others.
Shawn Thomas- National Director and Founder
Jeff Thomas-Director and co-founder
Shawn and Jeff are deputies for the King County Sheriff's Office in Seattle, WA. Shawn has been a deputy for 21 years and Jeff has been a deputy for 30 years.
In September 2016, Shawn's peer support captain suggested she organize a health and wellness conference for first responders and their families. The conference was a huge success and first responders reached out for assistance. That is when Shawn realized how important the conference was and other department's and organizations asked for her to organize a conference for them. In the first year they organized five conferences in Seattle, North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Arizona. Now they have had twelve conferences and have many more planned in the coming year. Shawn and Jeff are passionate about helping first responders because they have experienced their own difficult times and want to help guide others so they can maintain an enjoyable career and live a healthy life.
Please feel free to contact us if you are in need of confidential assistance. We are here to help refer you to any resources you may need.
Javier Bustos-Director of Public Relations and Social Media
Cathy Bustos-Director of Peer Support
Cathy & Javier Bustos are Law Enforcement Peer Support and volunteer their time to help 1st Responder Conferences. Throughout their careers they have experienced many critical Incidents separately and together. On August 18th, 2010 they experienced the trauma of a line of duty death for a fellow officer and friend at Cathy's police department in Cedar Park, TX. A month later on September 25th, 2010, Javier was in an Officer Involved Shooting in Austin, TX. Cathy & Javier were thrust into a new and changed world. They had to adjust their lives for the "new normal". It is important officers get help in the early days after a critical incident. The days of the macho "shaking it off" are in the past. With a combined 40 plus years of law enforcement experience their mission is to help other officers and their families deal with the stress of Critical Incidents. They serve as Peer Support Team members at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX for quarterly Post Critical Incident Seminars and have several Texas certifications.
Interested in helping.
Jacki Briggs- Assistant Director
Jacki is the wife of a USMC Veteran and a LEOW (wife of an Ada County Sheriff's Office Sergeant) for the past 28 yrs. She is the Idaho State 1st Responder Conferences Coordinator and serves on the Ntnl. team as the Director of Sponsorship and Donations. She is also the Project Director for Mind Health 4 Heroes, a project she started with Dr. Jon Harmon @ Clear Mind Center of Idaho, to help Veterans and 1st Responders “Break Free” from PTSD. Jacki is the mother of four beautiful young women, all of which have struggled with extreme depression, suicide ideation, self-harm, anxiety, and PTSD (Two of which are suicide attempt survivors). Unfortunately, her family is all too familiar with the deep, gut wrenching turmoil, heartaches, and struggles that partner with you along the journey of mental health challenges. She is very passionate about helping others, especially our heroes. Her goal is to help them not just find ways to survive, but to surround them with the resources they and their families need to thrive. Jacki is very involved in her community as a suicide prevention advocate, raising awareness for mental health, networking, serving alongside many veterans’ organizations through the Joining Forces Task Force for Treasure Valley Veterans, and is working towards becoming a personal strengths coach.
Organizing conferences can be a lot of work. If you are passionate about helping first responders and would like to contribute your strengths to helping our mission, we would love to speak with you.
Proceeds go towards scholarships for first responders/spouses to attend who have financial hardships and their organizations do not have a budget to pay for the registration.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals by continuing to have conferences. Every conference helps change and save first responders lives. Your generous donation will fund our mission and provide scholarships for first responders to attend this valuable training.