Boise, ID September 16-17, 2019

Hosted by the Garden City Police Department Co-hosted 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.    (Spouses and significant others are encouraged to register.)

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 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

Financially Fit- Marco Parzych (Lt Col, USAF Ret.), Founder & Executive Director of Mission Ready Finances -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.

Resilience Training for Optimum Performance: The Secret is in The Breath-Leslye Moore, National Director of Project Welcome Home Troops-Leslye shares her journey in healing her own post-traumtic 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. 

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.

Battle Scars: A Story of Chaos and Weakness, and How Planning and the Violence of Action Wins Wars -Alexandro Rangel, USMC/Firefighter- 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.

Cpl. Kevin Holtry and Brian Holland, Boise Police Department -On Veterans day 2016, Kevin and Brian were involved in a swat operation searching for an armed gang member hiding in a neighborhood. Kevin was shot 5 times and critically wounded and a fellow team member was also shot. The SWAT teams K9 was shot and killed by the suspect as well. Both Kevin and Holland will speak about the incident and how it has impacted their lives, their family, and Kevin's never-ending search to find relief from chronic pain and trying to move past the incident. 

Code 4 Northwest- 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.” 

Save A Warrior Program- Andrew Collins, U.S. Army Veteran-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.

More than a Headset -Dispatchers on First Responder Identity- Courtney Lyskoski & Katherine Knuteson, Dispatchers, Ada County Sheriff's Office -Information Coming Soon

Mental Health Related to Trauma- Rich Brown, Senior Firefighter, Boise Fire Department- Rich will be discussing his journey from a work related traumatic event to eventually becoming a PEER team member and graduate student in counseling.  Discussion will include ideas on how to transition from trauma to recovery.

Darrell Enderlin, USMC Veteran& Meridian Police Department Father

*You must register to attend. Seats are limited for this conference. Early Bird registration is open until August 18th and is $195.00. Registration after August 18th 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.


Organizing a conference is a lot of work and we are always looking for local volunteers to help make the conference a huge success.  If you are interested in being part of our Boise team, please fill out our volunteer form.

Volunteer Form

Riverside Hotel

If you are from out of town and will be needing a hotel, we have reserved a group block at the Riverside Hotel. Room rates are $94 for single occupancy and $109 for double occupancy. Please make your reservations as soon as possible as the hotel is filling up quickly. All reservations for the group will be handled through the hotel reservations department. Please call 208-343-1871 and ask for the 1st Responders Group Rate. The block of rooms are good until August 26, 2019. For more information about the hotel visit

Hotel Website