Welcome to 1st Responder Conferences

Health and Wellness training for America's Heroes

Welcome to 1st Responder Conferences!

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 surrounding the difficulties of the profession and inspiring conversations that minimize the stigma associated with the stresses our first responder’s experience.  We would like to 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 is a non profit doing business as Blue H.E.L.P.


Family members need to attend!

All of the speakers were very good. I'm glad they were willing to share some very personal experiences with us. It was very refreshing to hear about the ways to keep your mind and body healthy given what we have to deal with every day. 

Informative. Lovely supportive community. Well organized. 

A lot of information and resources provided by people who have lived it. Their personal stories made it "real" and showed how getting help can and does save lives as well as careers. Each speaker, even if they were providing similar information, did it in such a way that it never seemed repetitive or boring. 

One of the best conferences/trainings I have been to in my 16 year career.

I would recommend this for administration personnel who could take the material and put it into place.

This conference should be available to agencies throughout the country.

Even though the conference was 1st responder focused the information was very useful in many other areas of focus.

More courses like this need to be available and encouraged.

This material should be included in the education process of all police/Fire/EMS personnel nationwide.

Will definitely recommend and take back what I've learned to my department.

This two day course was refreshing and encouraging.  A change in the culture has been needed for a long time. The resources shared are needed and over due.  Thanks to each and every presenter.

Upcoming Events

Austin, TX August 2-3, 2018

A New Hope For First Responders

Hosted by the Cedar Park Police Department

When:  August 2-3, 2018

Time:  0800-1600 both days

Where:  New Hope


This two day training is for all first responders, police, fire, military, corrections, dispatchers, chaplains, retired first responders, professional staff, clinicians and spouses who work inor with the public safety field.  (Spouses are encouraged to attend)

The phrase “fit for duty” for public safety professionals has historically only accounted for good physical health for the duties related to one’s job. However, recent evidence-based research indicates that maintaining one’s behavioral health is equally important.  It's no secret that physical and mental stress can have serious consequences on your well-being. It shouldn't be surprising, then, to learn that researchers have found that working as a public safety professional can contribute to health problems. To combat the health hazards that come with public safety work, we are providing this training to improve your physical health, mental health and your well-being, so you can maintain a enjoyable career and live a healthy life.  Your significant others or spouses will also benefit from this training as it will help them understand what you endure every day and you will both learn how to support one another through these challenging professions.

Speakers and Topics

Surviving Critical Incidents and Marriage - Lieutenant Cathy Bustos from Cedar Park PD and Corporal Javier Bustos from Austin PD

S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strength, Honor in Everyday Lawful Decisions)- Lieutenant Melvin Allick and Training Specialist Lacy Wolff from Texas DPS

Fit for Duty - Captain Andy Reardon from Austin Fire

First Responder Resilience, Caring for Public Servants - Tania Glenn, PsyD, LCSW

Cumulative Trauma: Physiological Effects, Prevention Strategies & Stories from the Trenches- Steve Redmond, Seattle PD and Founder of Code 4 NW

Overcoming the Hidden Hazards of Being A First Responder- Senior Chaplain Rick Randall from Austin PD

Broken and Still Standing - Bryan Flatt, TMPA Training Coordinator 

Early bird registration is $75 plus fees which includes a continental breakfast and lunch on both days.

Seattle, WA. August 8 & 9, 2018

Intro to Yoga For First Responders: Processing Stress & Enhancing Performance

Limited Seats Available

When:  August 8 & 9, 2018 (same class, offer on two dates)

Time:  1000-1500

Where:  Sunnydale School

15631 Des Moines Memorial Dr.  Burien WA 98168

At this one day training, participants will be introduced to the original intention behind the practice of yoga, why it’s beneficial specifically to first responders as well as addressing the misconceptions about yoga and how these misconceptions have isolated the first responder culture from this useful tool.  Following this introduction to the “why” and “what” of yoga, participants will be familiarized with how the nervous system functions and is affected by this line work. It will be explained how these effects can either be debilitating, or, by changing the experience of stress enhance abilities and longevity of one’s career as well as fulfillment in life as a whole.  The second half of the training will speak to YFFR Protocol specifically, how it’s different than what you’d find at a community yoga class, and how our method is directed to fit into the fabric of first responder culture.  Participants will then get to experience a demo class so they can walk away from this training with exercises to practice immediately.  *No experience or flexibility required!  The goal of our program and trainings is for first responders to have a practical and sustainable skill set that they can use the very next day on, during, or after one’s shift for optimal functioning of one’s mind, body, nervous system and morale. 


Olivia Kvitne is the founder and director of Yoga For First Responders.  She has been a lifelong yoga practitioner, and a yoga instructor since 2003. While living in Los Angeles, Olivia taught weekly trauma-sensitive yoga classes at the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Training Center, as well as presented continuing education workshops on yoga and the neurological system for LAFD, and special workshops for high-ranking command staff of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). It is at LAFD where Yoga for First Responders was first born in conjunction with department psychologist, Dr. Robert Scott. Olivia currently teaches yoga for several Fire Departments, Des Moines Veterans Association, Iowa Army National Guard, Des Moines Police Academy, Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, Warren County Fire Academy and provides in-service trainings for public safety agencies and military around the country. Olivia is a contributing writer and former Assistant Editor of LA Yoga Magazine. Her writing for other publications and blogs includes American Military University’s In Public Safety, PoliceOne.com, FireRescue1, and the inaugural issue of Yoga Iowa, with her article on the benefits of yoga in the military being the cover story. Olivia is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), holds her Fire Instructor 1 certification and is the 2016 recipient of the Warrior Award and Community Choice Award from Yoga Alliance International.

For more information about YFFR go to http://yogaforfirstresponders.org

Early bird registration is $50.00 plus fees which includes a light lunch.

This class is open to all first responders including police, fire, EMS, corrections, dispatchers, chaplains, professional staff and spouses who work in the public safety field.  This training is also open for clinical professionals that work with first responders.  If you would like to go to this training and are uncertain if you qualify, please call Shawn at 206.841.6632

Space is limited on both days.  Please register as soon as possible.

Hotel Information

Cedar Park, TX August 2-3, 2018

Spring Hill Suites Austin/Cedar Park

The group rate for this hotel is $101.00 a night and is good through July 18, 2018.  To book your room click on the button below.

Upcoming Conference Flyers

Austin PDF (pdf)


Yoga for First Responders (jpg)


Cedar Park Sponsors

Endorsed by

Interested In Being A Sponsor?

1st Responder Conferences would not be able to organize our conferences without the help from other organizations.  If your organization would like to help support our first responders and their families by being a sponsor, please contact us for more information. 

Request A Conference

Let Us Help

We would love to help you organize a conference in your area!  If you would like to host a conference but don't have the time to plan one, please feel free to contact us.  Health and wellness should be a priority for every organization and we want to help make that happen!

Our Partners

About Us

Shawn and Jeff Thomas

Shawn and Jeff are deputies for the King County Sheriff's Office in Seattle, WA.  Shawn's peer support captain suggested she organize a health and wellness conference for first responders in September 2016.  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 seven conferences and have two more planned out in the coming months.  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 a 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 guide you to any resources you may need.

Javier and Cathy Bustos

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

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.  

Our Speakers

We vet out several different professional speakers for our conferences.  We want to make sure they are educated in the topic they are speaking about, so you receive all the correct and up to date information.  We know your time is valuable and we don't want to waste it.  We take pride in our conferences and want to make sure everyone benefits from taking time out of their lives to attend the trainings. 

Request to Speak

If you think you are a good fit for our conferences and would like to speak, we would enjoy speaking with you. 


Contact Us

Get in Touch

1st Responder Conferences

Seattle, WA

(206) 841-6632

Partners Who Donate To Help 1st Responder Conferences

Firefighter and Law Enforcement Quilts

American Flag - Thin Red Line Firefighter Quilt

American Flag - Thin Blue Line Police Officer Quilt/ Throw/ Blanket

This quilt is a great gift to give, one that will be used and cherished forever!
Represent the brotherhood, friends, and family with these awesome quilts.

Zabe’s Quilts


Sara Peal is the owner ZabesQuilts. She has been making quilts/blankets for 20 years now.
Along with my quilting, I crochet and do home projects.
She is also a firearm instructor and an US NAVY Veteran. Yes, a weird combination, but hey doing what you love creates happiness!
She absolutely loves being able to create something that others can enjoy and embrace; whether it's a craft project or training.
She started her Etsy shop so that she may spread her joy of crafting to more folks!

She appreciates you taking the time to look at her quilts and looks forward to your orders.

Military, Dispatchers, Corrections Quilts and more

-Made to order.   -Embroidered name included -Measures 70”x50". -100% cotton; best quality available

-Made to order.   

-Embroidered name included -Measures 70”x50". -100% cotton; best quality available.  -40+ piece Quilt.  -All variations are made of black and light grey cotton. -Star field are screen printed.   

Thin Line Quilts make a great gift for anyone who walk THE THIN LINE.  ***Also if you need a combo colored line please note when you're ordering.  

-Thin Red Line — Firefighters -Thin White Line — EMT -Thin Blue Line - Police Officer -Thin Orange Line — Search and Rescue Personnel and EMS -Thin Silver Line — Corrections officers -Thin Yellow Line — Security Officers, Retail Loss Prevention -Thin Green Line — Federal Agents, Border Patrol Agents, Park Rangers -Thin NWU or TYPE 3 Line — United States Navy -Thin ACU or MULITICAM Line — United States Army - Thin Line Marine - United States Marine Corp.  -Thin Tiger Stripe Line — Air Force -Thin Blue Line with Lightning Bolt — S.W.A.T.  

Confidential Resources

Please feel free to contact us if you are in need of confidential assistance.  We are here to help guide you to any resources you may need.