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Ocean City, MD September 10-11, 2020

Grand Hotel & Spa 2100 Baltimore Ave. Ocean City, MD 21842

Hosted by 1st Responder Conferences & Blue H.E.L.P.

Cohosted by Behind the Line, Inc. and Ocean City Police Department 


This training is for all 1st responders, police, fire, military/veterans, corrections, dispatchers, chaplains, retired 1st responders, spouses, professional staff, clinicians, spouses 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 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 Everyday Heroes.


Register now for $50 off! Early bird pricing until August 19, 2020.


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 responder. 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.


“Married with PTSD”- Police Officer Meg Hawkins & Firefighter/Paramedic Eric Provow (Combat Veteran, USAF Ret) -This presentation will bring light to the daily challenges of a married couple dealing with a veteran spouse who lives with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Meg Hawkins and Eric Provow, both current first responders, have been married for over 6 years. When they met, Eric had been retired from the military for over seven years. In 2017, Eric almost completed suicide and that experience changed their lives forever. Eric shares about his traumatic childhood, time in the military, and living with PTSD. Meg touches on how the well-being of spouses, significant others, and caregivers of veterans and first responders are greatly affected by their partner’s mental health. Meg and Eric now share their stories to help others know that “it’s ok to not be ok” and seeking help is not a weakness but a strength. They discuss the various therapies, treatments, Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG), and self-care practices that have helped them through some of their darkest days.


"Post Traumatic Growth, A Positive Change" - Mike Washington, Seattle Firefighter- Mike is a Team lead with the Seattle Fire Departments Critical Incident Stress Management Team, which provides basic and immediate mental health assistance to firefighters, military, and civilians in the wake of high impact stressful situations. Mike will take you on his life journey and describe how he grew from the traumatic incidents he endured throughout his life and how you can make a positive change for yourself and others. Mike was recently featured in "Upstanders", a collection of short stories created by Starbuck's, showing various courageous people in America. Mike Washington has been a Seattle firefighter for 25 years. Mike is HAZMAT, Aircraft Rescue Firefighter and Wildland Fire certified. Mike is also a member of the Puget Sound USAR Team. Mike is a member of the Seattle Fire Departments Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM ) response team.. Mike was recognized by the Seattle Fire Department as Community Service Member of the Year in 2016. Mike is also the Washington State Fire Service Representative at the Washington State Fusion Center. Mike served a tour at the National Counter Terrorism Center in Washington. Mike is a retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant serving a total of 23 years of service and 4 combat tours. Mike is a member of Team Rubicon, an internationally recognized veteran’s volunteer disaster relief organization. Mike holds a Master of Strategic Intelligence from American Military University.


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


"Decide to Thrive: A Culture of Wellness Starts with You!"- Marc Junkerman, Maryland Law Enforcement Officer, ICISF faculty member, and Behind the Line, Inc. member- This presentation is designed to help participants recognize that organizational resilience starts with a commitment to individual wellness. The overall message of "Build A Culture Not Just A Program" is supported by four driving themes: culture drives the bus, think left of bang, win by design, and everyone is a peer. This presentation has also been fielded to groups of specific and mixed public safety disciplines as well as to chaplains, clinicians, health care workers and hospital staff, emergency managers and military personnel holding various levels of professional experience. Marc is an active law enforcement commander in Maryland with more than 26 years of experience to include over 13 years serving in various peer support/Critical Incident Stress Management roles at the local, state, and regional level. During his tenure, he has placed a special emphasis on advocating for resilience centric management and leadership primarily within the public safety and public service arenas. This has led to the development and fielding of his “Decide to Thrive” program designed to assist individuals and organizations in creating a culture of resilience. He has been fortunate to serve as a presenter, trainer, and consultant for various clients and organizations. This includes continued support of such organizations as the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, the Mental Health Association of Maryland, the Maryland Mid-shore Crisis Intervention Team, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions, and the Office of Inspector General, US Department of Health and Human Services. Marc is a US Army Veteran, holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology and graduate degree in Management.


"Stress of a First Responder and Their Family Growing Stronger Together"- Corporal Matt Brown, Fruitland PD & Heather Brown, MS, PsyA , Eastern Shore Psychological Services and Behind the Line, Inc.-This is a unique presentation that addresses how the job can potentially impact first responders and their family. Without proper resources, the stress of the job can have devastating outcomes on the individual and family. The presenters will review four domains of a person’s life, which include home, health, community and purpose. Each domain will examine the physical and emotional outcomes on the first responder and family and how these areas can be strengthened based on understanding, support, and caring for self. The information will be offered from a clinical and personal point of view.  Heather and Matt actively speak together to spread the word regarding the importance of wellness for first responders and their families. They are also have assisted to create peer services for all first responders in their local area.  

Heather Brown, MS, PsyA, is working towards her PhD in Forensic Psychology. Heather worked very closely with local law enforcement and community providers to create and implement the 40-hour training and Crisis Response services to further provide assistance for the police and consumers to link high risk individuals to services. Matt Brown is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and has been a police officer for twenty-nine (29) years. He currently is a Corporal for the Fruitland Police Department and is their firearms Instructor and certified Glock armorer.


"Spiritual Survival for First Responders"- Chaplain Michael Shochet, Fairfax County, VA Police Department- First Responders experience critical incidents and cumulative stress that, if not mitigated, could cause everything from a loss of meaning in their work to burnout, addiction, depression or even suicide. This presentation looks to identify how our human spirits can become bankrupt through the stressors of law enforcement. It seeks to teach first responders to recognize symptoms of spiritual burnout and tips for replenishing meaning and motivation by keeping one's spirit motivated. Chaplain/Cantor Michael Shochet is the Coordinator of the Fairfax County, VA Police Department’s Chaplain Unit and is also a Chaplain with the CIA. He is a former Chaplain with the FBI-WFO and a former Baltimore City police officer. Michael is clergy and Senior Cantor of Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, Virginia, since 1998. He previously served Temple Sinai of New Orleans, where he also was a Chaplain with the New Orleans Police Department. Cantor Shochet was a Baltimore City Police officer from 1986-1988. Cantor Shochet went through the Fairfax County Police Auxiliary Police Academy and was a sworn Auxiliary Police Officer from 2006-2009. He received his Master certification from the International Conference of Police Chaplain. Cantor Shochet teaches Spiritual Survival and Death Notification in the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy.


"Organizing Your Peer Support Team"- Peer Support Team Coordinator Mike Wells, Prince George's County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Association, Local 1619- At some point of your career as a First Responder you have conducted some type of peer support. However, you may not have known what types of services that were available to share with the brother or sister. Our members are required to perform their job functions to the public hastily thus that is the expectation of our members when we need help. The topics that will be covered are, Where to find training for your Peer Support Team, What types of culturally competent services your team should provide, Crisis Intervention, Support Groups, In Patient Facilities, Therapists- Trauma, Marital, Addiction/Substance Abuse Counselors are just some examples, Grief Counselors, Other Considerations: Bio-hazard clean up, Financial Advisors, Chaplain Services and How to obtain buy in from administrators and our co-workers.  Mike Wells began his fire service career in Wallingford, CT as a junior firefighter. While attending the University of Maryland, he was a live-in member at the College Park Volunteer Fire Department. In 2006, he was hired as a firefighter/emt in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The majority of Mike's career was spent in the Emergency Operations Command, however he also spent a period as an instructor for the Fire Training Academy. Mike currently serves as the behavioral health educator for the 2000 member agency.


Continental Breakfast and lunches are provided on both days


*Networking Social on September 10th, from 4:00-6:00 pm @ the venue. This is a great opportunity to get to know others, ask questions and share your ideas and thoughts with other like-minded professionals. Appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.


*Accommodations: Grand Hotel & Spa 2100 Baltimore Ave. Ocean City, MD 21842

Each individual will be responsible for making his/her own reservation with us by 08/10/2020. Callers should identify themselves as being part of 1st Responder Conferences group to receive the group rate. Guests can call 410-289-6191 or 1-800-447- 6779 to make their reservation.

To download a flyer please visit www.1stresponderconferences.org 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 August 19th and is $199.00. Registration after August 19th will be $249.00 (Plus Eventbrite charges) 


A limited amount of scholarships are availble for those with financial hardships. Please contact Amanda at amanda@1stresponderconferences.org for more information.


*Disclaimers*

Photograph/Video Disclaimer Statement

1st Responder Conferences (1RC) reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by 1RC , without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. 1RC may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by 1RC including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, books, newspapers, magazines, television, websites, etc. No video recording by attendees permitted. 

Waiver of Liability 

Some of the material presented at this event may cause emotional triggers. We will have onsite assistance if needed. There will also be additional resources available if needed. This conference is not intended to provide counselling services, whether medical, psychological or of any other kind, nor to diagnose, prevent, cure or treat any disease, diorder or injury. This conference is certainly not intended to replace the advice of a physician. If you need expert advice, please consult a competent professional. This conference is only intended for “educational” use and it should only be used as a guide.

At registration we will have a waiver of liability and a photo release form that must be signed. If you have any questions regarding the waiver please contact us, so we can be of assistance.



Meet Our Speakers!

Check out our speaker video!

Conference Flyer

Please download the flyer and post it in your organizations office share or with others.  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!

Ocean City 1st Responder Conference Flyer (pdf)

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Need a Room?

*Accommodations: Grand Hotel & Spa 2100 Baltimore Ave. Ocean City, MD 21842

Each individual will be responsible for making his/her own reservation with us by 08/10/2020. Callers should identify themselves as being part of 1st Responder Conferences group to receive the group rate. Guests can call 410-289-6191 or 1-800-447- 6779 to make their reservation.

To download a flyer please visit www.1stresponderconferences.org 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 August 19th and is $199.00. Registration after August 19th will be $249.00 (Plus Eventbrite charges) 

Call to Reserve a Room!

Hosted & Endorsed by Agencies Who are Making a Difference!

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Our Partners

Co-presented by Blue HELP
Sponsored by
Partner

Interested in Being a Resource Partner?

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.

Looking to Volunteer?

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

Justification to Attend the Conference

Do you need to seek approval from your leadership to attend our First Responder Mental Health and Wellness Conference?


To assist you in justifying your attendance to supervisors or other decision makers, we have developed a list of reasons for attending the conference and a customizable letter you can give to your leadership.

               

              REASONS TO ATTEND:


  1.   Network with others and see how other programs have overcome the challenges that your program is currently facing and take their lessons back to your organization..
  2.   Get exposed to excellent programs/resources to give you ideas about enhancing your program and helping your organization in ways you never would have thought of on your own.
  3.   Help to inspire others with what you’ve worked hard to accomplish.
  4.   Gain specific skills, knowledge and experiences you can immediately bring back to your agency.
  5.   Expand your knowledge, gain inspiration and creativity to build, improve and sustain your local health and wellness/peer support programs.
  6.   Build a network of resources with other  programs throughout the country and build relationships that aid you in your programs


First Responder Mental Health and Wellness

First Responder Mental Health and Wellness 

Justification Letter

1st RC Justification Letter (docx)

Download

Why this training is needed (pdf)

Download