Boise, ID September 16-17, 2019

Location: The Vineyard 4950 North Bradley Street. Garden City, ID, 83714

1st Responder Conferences presents a two day mental health and wellness seminar for all first responders.

                                                   Presented by 1st Responder Conferences

Co-hosted by Garden City Police Department & Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho (PFFI)

Endorsed by Code 4 NW & Blue H.E.L.P.

This training is 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.

Register now for $50 off! Early bird pricing until September 8th, 2019

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 first responders and their family members through dynamic and engaging presentations for the entire first responder community. This two-day seminar is unique 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.

Speakers and Topics:

Operational Stress and Resilience-Dr. Shannon Meyer- Even though we all know that this work changes us, we rarely discuss the emotional costs of being a first responders. Incidents, large and small, impact not only our feelings and perspective on the world, but they can also result in biological changes to our brain. In fact, evidence indicates that operational stress injuries, like PTSD, result from physical damage to our brain, including changes in its structure and functioning. This presentation will discuss some of the ways that work can take a destructive toll on us, both emotionally and biologically. We will talk about what to look for in ourselves, how to look out for each other, and where to turn if things get bad. We will also talk about the ways that we can cultivate resilience and how we can insulate, and protect, ourselves from the toxic effects of our jobs. Dr. Shannon Meyer has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with advanced training and expertise in PTSD, operational stress, and secondary trauma in first responders. Dr. Meyer is a Victim Specialist who works for FBI in the Seattle area, a member of the Skagit County CISM Team, and a psychologist at the West Coast Post-Trauma Retreat, a residential treatment program for first responders. Dr. Meyer and her German Shepherd, Odin, recently became certified as a Crisis Response Canine Team with the goal of serving first responders at natural and man-made disasters. Dr. Meyer is happily married to a retired law enforcement officer.

Battle Scars: A Story of Chaos and Weakness, and How Planning and the Violence of Action Wins Wars-Alexandro Rangel, United States Marine Corps Combat Veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq & Firefighter - During his time as Marine, he served a total of four deployments from 2001-2005. He currently resides in Middleton, ID, where he has been a reserve firefighter since 2014. He has a deep passion for aggressive and disciplined firefighting, and hopes to give back to the fire service by addressing mental health in a proactive way, with that same aggressiveness and discipline. With his experiences in combat and the aftermath of battle as his points of reference, Alexandro shares the invisible wounds that can result from trauma, and explores confronting the past with purpose and resiliency in the present moment.

Resilience Training for Optimum Performance: The Secret is in The Breath-Leslye Moore, National Director of Project Welcome Home Troops- Leslye combines her training yogic sciences with a wealth of skills acquired in over 25 years of leadership in humanitarian work to offer breath-based healing tools to reduce trauma and chronic stress to Veterans and their families, as well as first responders. Leslye received B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a M.A. in International Administration from the School for International Training, in Brattleboro, Vermont. Leslye shares her journey in healing her own post-traumatic stress resulting from her time as a humanitarian worker in Bosnia and Rwanda during the time of the genocides. Leslye will discuss the intimate connection between the body, breath and mind and introduce simple but effective breathing techniques that help regulate emotions, reduce stress, improve mood, reduce anxiety and depression and improve sleep quality.

Officer Survival: The Aftermath of a Shooting & Journey Into Recovery- Corporal Kevin Holtry and Detective Brian Holland, Boise Police Department - Cpl. Kevin Holtry is a 21 year veteran of the Boise Police Department and has been on BPD’s Special Operation Unit for the last 14 years. Det. Brian Holland is a sixteen-year veteran of the Boise Police Department, currently working in the Boise Police Gang Unit where he has been assigned for the past 12 years.  Overall, he has worked gang members and investigated gang crime for approximately 20 years as a juvenile probation officer supervising a gang caseload, a state parole officer supervising a gang caseload and with BPD. Det. Holland holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and an advanced certificate with the Idaho P.O.S.T Academy.  He teaches gangs and tactics for the academy as well as regional gang conferences. On Veteran’s Day 2016, after a week-long county wide manhunt, Officers Holtry and Holland, along with several other officers were involved in a SWAT operation searching for an armed gang member who was found hiding in a neighborhood. Cpl. Kevin Holtry was one of two officer shot during the incident. He was critically wounded (Shot 5xs), along with the SWAT team’s K9 Jardo, who was also critically wounded and later succumbed to his injuries. Det. Holland and Cpl. Holtry will describe the violent encounter on that day, but will focus on the aftermath of the shooting, the impact on the Boise Police Special Operations Unit including "survivors guilt", and personal recovery efforts that they endured, not only as long time teammates, but as best friends.  Finally, this course will discuss the ad hoc intervention methods Det. Holland and Cpl. Holtry previously employed with fellow law enforcement friends, as well as the implementation of those ideas into the police family framework and the importance of those methods in the aftermath of the 2016 Veteran's Day shooting.

Financially Fit- Marco Parzych (Lt Col, USAF Ret.), Founder & Executive Director of Mission Ready Finances - A nationwide nonprofit 501(c)(3) with a vision of financial hope, peace and success for all who bravely serve our nation as military members or first responders. He is an accredited financial coach and published author of the book, Mission Ready Finances, of which all sale proceeds go back into the nonprofit to further their mission and reach. Marco is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, having had the distinct honor and privilege of leading forces into combat both in the air and on the ground. Marco's presentation is aimed at restoring financial hope and encouraging all why they should, and how they can, do better with their personal finances. His goal is to serve as a catalyst, inspiring audiences to take action by presenting information in a new way that gets them to start thinking differently, believing that wealth building is possible for all and then taking the steps to get on a brighter financial path forward.

Code 4 Northwest-24/7 Confidential Crisis Line for First Responders & Their Families - Officer Steve Redmond, Seattle Police and Founder of Code 4 NW- We have all heard about PTSD, cumulative stress, secondary trauma/compassion fatigue, and addictions, but how can we prevent these issues? Steve will relate his own stories as a first responder, and describe the negative impact these challenges have on our lives, careers, and families. Learn about methods in which we can prevent these issues and the negative impacts they have, with awareness and good self-care. A review of treatment options for an individual or family will also be discussed. We need to change the culture of "dismissing" mental health issues when we see a co-worker, friend, or family member in crisis. “If you see something, say something.” Steve Redmond is an officer for the Seattle Police Department and has worked for Seattle PD since 1992. During his career with Seattle, he has worked as a patrol officer, FTO, mountain bike officer, DUI squad officer, traffic officer, and as a motorcycle officer. In August of 2013, he began creating Code 4 Northwest, which is a 24/7 confidential Crisis referral hotline for first responders and their families. Steve wanted to ensure that all Washington State active or retired first responders, EMS, corrections, civilian supports personnel, and their families had access to the best resources that could be offered.

Save A Warrior Program- Andrew Collins, U.S. Army Veteran- Andrew Collins is a U.S. Army veteran. He deployed stateside in 2005 to aid in the humanitarian efforts after Hurricane Katrina, and twice to Iraq, 2006-2007/2009-2010, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He currently is involved in various veteran organizations in the Treasure Valley, is a Canyon County Veteran Court mentor, attending a Masters in Social Work program at NNU, and an ambassador for Save A Warrior®. Andrew will be talking about the SAW Program and explaining his profound experience while attending the program. SAW's purpose is to inspire the greatest generation of servant leaders in our nation's history. Save A Warrior has changed countless lives through our "War Detox" program, which supports the healing from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). They specialize in connecting Active Duty Military, Returning Veterans, and First Responders experiencing psychological trauma.

“Something’s Wrong with My Brain”- One Family’s Silent Struggle with Cumulative Trauma & the Aftermath-Kristen Enderlin, Law Enforcement Officer’s Wife, Meridian Police Department LEOW – On Sept. 22, 2018, Kristen’s husband and best friend, Meridian Police Officer Matt Enderlin, took his life while on duty. She will be courageously sharing Matt’s story; his successful 11 year career and passion to serve, the tipping point and rapid descent from a “Normal family,” the cumulative effects of PTSI until the unthinkable happened. Kristen will be discussing the importance of seeking help for post-traumatic stress injuries, as well as discussing the devastating effects of suicide upon those left behind.

Mental Health Related to Trauma- A Journey through Trauma to Healing- Rich Brown, Senior Firefighter- Boise Fire Department- Rich began working as a Wildland firefighter in 1990; has been working in operations as a structure firefighter for 24 years, and has been a peer team member for 5 years.  He is the 4th District Representative for the Professional Firefighters of Idaho executive board as well as a graduate student in the Master’s Degree program at Idaho State University in counseling.  Rich will be discussing his journey from a work related traumatic event, his determination to find the resources needed to survive his own challenges, as well as his passion and desire to empower others with those crucial tools by becoming a peer team member and graduate student in counseling. Discussion will include ideas on how to transition from trauma to recovery.

More than a Headset - Dispatchers on First Responder Identity and the Effects of Post-Traumatic Stress - Cortney Lyskoski & Katherine Knuteson, Ada County Sheriff's Office Dispatchers - Cortney and Katherine will share “A day in the life of emergency communications” through their significant personal experiences and perspectives. Cortney serves as the voice of Dispatch through her position on the board of the Idaho First Responder Collaborative; she is a powerful advocate, educator, promoter of peer support, and first responder wellness. Katherine’s experience speaks to the hearts of other spouses or significant others due to her unique role as a first responder while also being intimately involved within the Blue family, through her relationship with a LEO & SWAT team member. They will be discussing trauma, health and why they really do what they do. Their take away…“Discovering identity and purpose on the chaotic road to wellness.” Cortney joined the first responder family in 2016 as an EMD Certified call-taker and Law Enforcement Dispatcher at the Ada County Sheriff’s Office. She is passionate about her career and will tell you that she has “the best job in the world” as she is guaranteed to make an impact and make a difference in lives every single shift. Cortney heads up and serves as a team liaison for the Dispatch Recruiting & 911 Ed Teams for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office. She firmly believes that educating the public on 911 will help save lives. Katherine Knuteson is an 11 year veteran with Ada County Sheriff’s Office as a 911 Dispatcher. She is currently in her 9th year as a certified training officer and her 5th years as a POST Certified Instructor. Even more important she is a daughter, sister, auntie, mother and a LEO lady.

Take the Reins: A Multi-Faceted Approach to Mental Wellness and Post-Traumatic Growth- Johnny Urrutia, Equine Specialist and Stephen Ammann, Licensed Master of Social Work- Lifelong cowboy Johnny U shares his insights and experiences on the journey toward understanding mental wellness. Johnny fought fires with the BLM for 8 years & served in the US Army and National Guard. Later, he travelled the country and world as a PBR bull rider and then as a professional musician, making friends everywhere he went and discovering that everyone needs resources in maintaining their wellness from time to time. He combined his passion for helping others with his love of horses to found Idaho Horse Therapy, Inc.: a nonprofit specializing in weeklong multi-modality trauma intensives. Johnny holds Equine Specialist certifications in various Equine Assisted Psychotherapy methods (including achieving the Military Endorsement from EAGALA). Stephan provides individual, couple, family, and group counseling in addition to his work with the IHT intensives. A Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, he is trained in EMDR and incorporates brain-mirroring technology in his practice to help clients deal with trauma, addiction, and other concerns. Together, they discuss the value of a multi-faceted approach to mental wellness and post traumatic growth.

*Networking Social on September 16, from 4:15-6:15 pm @ Powderhaus Brewing Company (A Veteran owned & operated Boise based, Idaho craft brewery.) This is a great opportunity to get to know others, ask questions and share your ideas and thoughts with other like-minded professionals. Appetizers will be provided. No Host Cash Bar available.

*Accommodations: Conference specials/discounted hotel rates available:
Springhill Suites by Marriot ($94/night reserved by Aug. 16, 2019):
For more information, please scroll down to the hotel section

To download a flyer please scroll down to the flyer file or contact us for flyers, basic info letters, and sponsor/industry partner/vendor forms for your organizations or to share. 

*You must register to attend. Seats are limited for this conference. Early Bird registration is open until September 8th and is $195.00. Registration after September 8th will be $245.00 (Plus Eventbrite charges) 

Continental Breakfast and lunches are provided on both days. Light hors d'oeuvres will also be provided at the social networking event that will take place on September 16th directly after the close of the first day. Drinks will be availble for purchase.

Full and partial scholarships may be available.  Scholarships are reserved for individuals whose agency or organization will not pay for their training and who have a financial hardship.  For more information, please contact us.


If you have any questions regarding this conference, please click on the button below!

Contact Us

SpringHill Suites Mariott

If you are from out of town and will be needing a hotel, we have reserved a group block at the SpringHill Suites Mariott. Room rates are $94 plus tax.   Please make your reservations as soon as possible as the hotel is filling up quickly.  If you would like to book directly with the SpringHill Suites Boise, please call 208.939.8266 and give the desk agent the group code FRIG when making the reservation. Using the link you can only book days rooms are authorized, which is September 15, 16 & 17 so you need to click on those specific dates. If you would like to stay extra days, you need to call the hotel to make the reservation. To get the group rate, reservations must be made by the cutoff date of August 16, 2019.  For more information about the hotel visit

Click Below to Book Now

Hotel Website

Endorsed BY


Our Sponsors


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 click on the button below.

Sponsor/Resource Form

Looking to Volunteer?

Organizing a conference is a lot of work and we are always looking for local volunteers to help!

Volunteer Form

Conference Flyer

Please download the flyer and share or post it in your organizations office.  We all can benefit from mental health and wellness training.  If we work together to spread the word, we will break the stigma, help others and save lives!

*1st RC Flyer-Garden City PDF* (pdf)