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 partners with Blue H.E.L.P. which is a non profit organization.


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. 

This conference saved my life!

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

Boise, ID October 4-5, 2018

Improving Your Mental Health and Wellness

When:  October 4-5, 2018

Time:     0800-1600 both days

Where:  The Bridge Event Center

                6200 N Garrett St

                Boise, ID 83714


This two day training is for all first responders, corrections, dispatchers, chaplains, professional staff and spouses who work in 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 mental health and well-being so you can maintain a enjoyable career and live a healthy life.

Speakers and Topics

Post Traumatic Growth, A Positive Change - Mike Washington, Seattle Firefighter

Family First  "First Responder Integrative Resilience Support Training” Lacy Wolff, First Responder Training Specialist

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

Breaking the Silence, Understanding Trauma - Amy Crawford, PhD, LMFT Trauma Specialist 

Resiliency-Coping When the Pain Doesn't Go Away- Captain Ron Winegar, Boise Police Department

Living With the Ghost...How to Negotiate When Your the Hostage- Tim Wonacott, Senior Fire Fighter, Boise Fire Department 

Continental breakfast and lunch included

*You must register to attend.  Early bird registration is $100.00(Plus Eventbrite fees)  Early bird registration with the networking social is $125.00 (plus Eventbrite charges) and is available until September 12th.  After September 12th ticket prices will increase to $125.00 for registration and $150.00 for registration and the networking social (plus Eventbrite charges).  Seats are limited for this conference.

**Networking Social-On October 4th at 4:00-6:00 pm.  Following the first day of the conference, we will be having a networking social with most of the speakers at the conference venue.  This is a great opportunity to get to know others, ask questions and share your ideas and thoughts with other like minded professionals. We will be providing appetizers and beverages. Each person will recieve two drink tickets for beer or wine. Ticket prices are $125.00 (plus Eventbrite charges) if you purchase before September 12th.  After September 12th ticket prices are $150.00 (plus Eventbrite charges) This ticket includes your two day registration.

Seattle, WA. November 27-28, 2018

First Responder Wellness

When:  November 27-28, 2018

Time:  0800-1600

Where:  WSCJTC

19010 1st Ave S. Burien, WA 98148

This two day training is for all first responders, police, fire, corrections, dispatchers, chaplains, professional staff and spouses who work in the public safety field. (Spouses are encouraged to attend)
What do all first responders have in common? We dedicate our lives to always thinking of everyone else first. What happens when we don’t care for ourselves? We lose that ability to care for others as well as we can. Take a moment to reflect and care about yourself and join us for two days of meaningful information in regards to the world we face every day, and how we can care for ourselves and continue to carry on assisting others. Come hear leaders in the field share their experience, stories, advice, and expertise on the challenges that first responders face every day, and find answers for those challenges. 

Speakers and Topics

Living With the Ghost...How to Negotiate When Your the Hostage- Tim Wonacott, Senior Fire Fighter, Boise Fire Department

Introduction to Yoga For First Responders: Processing Stress and Enhancing Performance- Olivia Kvitne, Founder of Yoga for First Responders

Understanding Your Personal Dashboard- Kaitlyn Daniel, M.S. and Brian Nelson

Introduction to Mindfulness- Teresa Johnson, Mindfulness Northwest Program Coordinator

Comprehensive Wellness: Exploring the Many Facets of Wellness- Joe Gorton, Therapist and Founder of Step Stone Connect

You are Not Alone- Officer Jared Nesary, Yakima PD

Cedar Park, Texas January 3-4, 2019

First Responders and Families:  Integrative Training for ALL First Responders and Their Families

When:  January 3-4, 2019

Time:  0800-1600

Where: New Hope Church

               Cedar Park, TX 78613

More information coming soon

Kissimmee, FL February 22-23, 2019

Improving Your Mental Health and Wellness for First Responders

When:  February 22-23, 2019

Time:  0800-1600

Where:  Osceola Council on Aging

700 Generation Point

Kissimmee, FL 34744

1stResponder Conferences and Blue H.E.L.P. Presents

Improving Your Mental Health and Wellness for First Responders

Hosted by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office

More Information Coming Soon!

Palatine, IL April 11-12, 2019

When:  April 11-12, 2019

Time:  0800-1600

Where:  Holiday Inn Express Palatine-Arlington Heights  

1550 E. Dundee Rd

Palatine, IL 60074

More information Coming Soon

Washington DC May 11, 2019

2019 Blue H.E.L.P. Police Week Dinner

When:  May 11, 2019

Time:  1800-Midnight

Where:  Capital Hilton

Washington, DC

Keynote Speaker

Jon Adler

Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance

Blue H.E.L.P. will be hosting a dinner to honor the service of the law enforcement officers who lost their personal battles and died by suicide. Please join us as we welcome 150 family members to honor and remember their loved ones for the way they lived.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact sponsor@wearebluehelp.org.


If you have lost a law enforcement officer to suicide, please register them with us so we can honor their service.

Hotel Information

Boise Riverside Hotel



Coast Gateway Hotel

The group rate for this hotel is $99.00 a night and is good through November 6, 2018.  To book your room click on the button below or call 206.826.2724

Upcoming Conference Flyers

Boise Flyer (pdf)


2018 DC (jpg)


Boise 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. 

Support Our Hometown Heroes T-Shirt


($4.00 shipping)

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

All proceeds from the T-Shirts go towards future conferences and to provide scholarships for first responders to attend.  Upon receipt of purchase we will contact you to  request your desired T-Shirt size.

Sizes available are S, M, L, XL, XXL.

T-Shirts are 60% cotton and 40% polyester.

1RC Shop

Shield Republic helps first responders by donating their profits to 1RC so we can host conferences throughout the country.  Thank you for looking at our shop and making a difference in first responders lives.

To view items click the shop now button and then click first responder in the left column.

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

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.