Presented by 1st Responder Conferences in Partnership with First H.E.L.P. and ICISF
Co-hosted by the Elkhart Police Department
Venue: Gillespie Conference & Special Event Center 53995 State Hwy 933, South Bend, IN 46637
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/PTSI, 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, seating is limited.
Speakers and Topics:
"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..
"Bridging The Gap: Mitigating The Stress In First Responder Relationships"- Noel Meador, Stronger Families President & CEO, and Tim Sears, Director of First Responders for Stronger Families- Stress on the job is a normal part of every First Responder life. While not everyone who is a First Responder will experience PTSD, many of those who do, don’t have the tools to deal with this stress, and are vulnerable to the breakdown of their most important relationships and ultimately their mental health. Bridging the gap between how to manage stress on the job and using effective tools to communicate with loved ones is essential for the life of a First Responder. In this session we will be covering how to…
Discussing difficult topics in any relationship using the Empathetic Communication framework that is proven to create a safe environment to share. Noel Meador serves as President & CEO for Stronger Families based in Seattle, Washington. In this role, he is dedicated to strengthening families and marriages, ultimately affecting the community at large. Noel is the co-author of the Oxygen for Your Relationship seminar, which provides couples with tools and resources that help them promote authenticity and renewed vitality in their relationship. Over the past 5 years, 30,000 couples have gone through OXYGEN program and 1,100 + facilitators have been certified to teach the program. Noel received his Master’s Degree in Education and is trained in many relationship enrichment and counseling tools and is part of the John Maxwell Leadership Team. Noel lives in Dallas, TX with his wife, Karissa and four children, Drew, Noah, Myles and Kaylea. Tim Sears joins Stronger Families with 45+ years in the fire service, having served in 4 different fire departments. Tim was actively involved in water rescue, tillered ladder trucks, ops, safety committee, fire investigator, hazmat, PEER support, board member on KFFBA Benevolent Fund and active in his IAFF Union Local 2545. Tim retired in 2021 from the Kirkland Fire Department in Washington State with many department accommodations for his 30 years of service.
“Finding Awareness”- Sgt. Karl D. Karch (Ret.) YogaFive-0 Founder- The job of a first responder is challenging and demanding. People call on us when they are in need or in trouble. To be effective, first responders require strength, balance, flexibility, and resilience. We must operate with mental clarity. Awareness is the key. Like many first responders, Karl Karch was unaware his daily choices were damaging his health and wellness. At the age of 46, Karl experienced his first heart attack. The presenter will share his story including the personal and professional factors leading to his brush with death. Through his own self-growth journey, Karl will share insights on how to navigate the physical and mental challenges as a first responder and provide strategies for transforming your lifestyle. Karl Karch is a military veteran who has spent nearly three decades in law enforcement. He has a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University and has taught adults at the collegiate level along with private tutoring since 2009. Karl is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Nutrition Specialist, and certified yoga instructor. He is the founder of YogaFive-0, a health and wellness service focused on improving the lives of First Responders both on and off the yoga mat. As a retired police officer, Karl has worked with and alongside First Responders under the most extreme circumstances. He has witnessed and personally experienced the physical, mental, and spiritual toll often associated with a career in public safety.
"Protecting Both Sides of the Badge"- Christy Lister, First H.E.L.P. Volunteer, Podcast Manager- “I am here if you need to talk- no judgment, just here for you.” These words, coming just two weeks prior from Christy to her former husband Ken Lister, a patrolman for 25 years. Who wants to hear those words from their ex-spouse? Two weeks later, the Chief came to Christy’s door and 25 years of her life made more sense. A mother of three children, Christy has spent time since June 17, 2019, understanding that families serves alongside first responders on that that thin line; the difference is they wear an invisible badge. Christy has overcome the challenge of not only helping her family understand what Post Traumatic Stress does to first responders, but also to families. She shares the tools that she has learned along the way, to help fit into family life, regardless of how long you have been on the job. Resiliency is something we can be taught, so that we are prepared for the next call. Crisis isn’t something we can avoid, however it is something that we can learn from. Vulnerability is a strength that everyone has, and few see in themselves. Christy’s marriage may have failed because officers and families didn’t have these tools; however, she encourages others. Had she known what she knows now, it could have made a difference. Christy has lived in Plainfield IL for 25 years, raising three beautiful children. While not at work, she spends time talking with new hires at the local police departments, preparing them with tools for both the officers and their family. She also takes time to assist with training of First H.E.L.P. responder courses, and is a host of the “Beyond the 1st Response” podcast.
"Summoned: Why this is more than just a job"- Kevin McNeil, CEO of The Twelve Project, LLC.- In this workshop retired special victim’s detective Kevin McNeil recounts how he found purpose in his job after overcoming traumatic events. He shares how recognizing, acknowledging, and verbalizing his pain empowered him to overcome his depression. Kevin demonstrates how Support, Acknowledgement, Feeling, and Engagement (SAFE) is the key to helping first responders tend to the most important person on their watch: Themselves. Kevin retired from the DeKalb County Police Department of Georgia after 20 years of service. He served eight years as a Police Officer, and twelve years as a Special Victims Unit Detective. His training and attention to detail helped him solve several high-profile serial rape cases in the Atlanta area. Kevin’s background coupled with his extensive research on trauma and the effects of abuse, defines and differentiates his message. He travels internationally speaking on topics relevant to Child Advocacy Centers, Police Departments, Department of Family and Children Services, District Attorney’s Offices, athletic organizations, schools and universities, parents, and foster parents, as well as community members. Kevin has appeared on numerous radio, television, and podcast
programs; including TV One’s crime investigative series ‘Fatal Attraction’ and has been a guest on Jim Clemente’s podcast ‘Best Case, Worst Case,’ along with being featured in several magazine articles.
"Understanding and Building Trust with your Employee Assistance Program (EAP)"- Nancy Lockhart, ENP, St Joseph County 911, Deputy Director of Operations and Catherine Herzog, St. Joseph County 911 Clinical Liaison- During this session, we will discuss: -common misconceptions that lead to distrust with EAP programs and providers -building programs/relationships that address the mental health crisis facing first responders -improving wellness of first responders and their families -how to build trust among EAP/ mental health providers -What makes a provider qualified? And how to find a qualified provider that 'gets you' as a first responder. Nancy Lockhart is currently the Deputy Director of Operations for St. Joseph County 911 Currently, she oversees 9-1-1 operations for a consolidated PSAP for the 5th largest county in Indiana, serving more than 250,000 people. Nancy started her career in December of 1989 working as a dispatcher for St. Joseph County Fire Dispatch and moved through the ranks to Operations Manager. She quickly made an impact helping develop operating guidelines and new employee programs; Nancy helped to design the dispatch’s in-house training program, which trains incoming employees unfamiliar with emergency communication centers and emergency telecommunication technology. In 2014, she was hired by St. Joseph County 9-1-1 to coordinate with GIS and responding agencies to develop CAD response plans. She now oversees the policy development for the agency’s fire dispatchers/call takers, Quality Improvement Unit, training, and serves as the project manager for the SJC911 in-house Peer Support team. Catherine Herzog, LCSW is a recruiter and field coordinator for IU School of Social Work at IU South Bend. She earned her Bachelor of Social Work from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and went on to earn her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2007. She has been in the field of social work for almost 15 years and has worked in a variety of settings. She has experience working with youth in the foster care system, adults that have severe and persistent mental illness in a residential setting, and both an inpatient and outpatient setting. She most recently worked for a local employee assistance program that worked with employers mainly across the Michiana area where she gained a lot of interest and knowledge in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. She has been working with first responders (Police, Fire and Dispatch) for over 4 years assisting them with developing their peer support programs and providing clinical guidance for their departments. Catherine has an amazing husband of almost 11 years and 2 young sons. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and flying in the family airplane traveling. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Exploring the Impact of Trauma”- Molly Jones, LSW, Clinical Education Coordinator for Advanced Recovery Systems- Public Safety professionals are exposed to potentially traumatic events on a regular basis while serving their communities. This chronic and cumulative exposure to trauma puts responders at an increased risk for the development of a behavioral health condition. However, all too often, the experiences responders go through prior to their roles in public safety or outside of the job are overlooked, minimized, or left unprocessed. These additional traumatic experiences outside of the profession include things like, childhood abuse or neglect, military combat exposure, or even things like assault. Traumatic experiences, whether it’s on the job or not, shape who we are, change our perspectives on the world around us, and influence how we interact with others. For these reasons, it is vital that public safety professionals take the time to acknowledge what they’ve been through in an effort to promote mental wellness, better understanding of themselves, and reduce the likelihood that he or she may develop depression, a substance use issue, suicidality, or post-traumatic stress disorder. This presentation will examine the impact of exposure to trauma and is intended to help attendees take an inventory of the ways in which previous experiences may be impacting current ways of being. The speaker will use the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and inventory, as well as other self-report questionnaires to help attendees reflect on what they’ve been through and better discuss the ways these experiences change and shape thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Participation in this presentation will better equip attendees to not only understand themselves in a new way, but also change the way support is provided to peers who may be struggling. Molly Jones, LSW is a Clinical Education Coordinator for Advanced Recovery Systems. In this role, Molly is responsible for providing clinical education and training to various client populations, treatment providers, and other behavioral health stakeholders across the country. Molly provides in-person, virtual, and on-demand behavioral health education and is able to cover a wide variety of topics under the behavioral healthcare umbrella. Molly is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Colorado and based out of Denver, Colorado. Prior to joining the ARS Community Outreach Team in August 2019, Molly worked in a variety of social work settings. She has worked in direct practice, counseling older adults, adolescents, high acuity clients, and other populations struggling with various mental health and substance abuse related issues, as well as a Permanency Planning Worker for the Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Molly has worked in the field of Social Work since 2013, and holds the philosophy that all individuals, with proper support and awareness, possess the ability to learn, change, and grow to achieve the highest quality of life and sense of self possible. Molly earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Family Life Education with a focus on Gerontology from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. In her time with Advanced Recovery Systems, Molly has primarily worked with first responders and their families, as well as the International Association of Fire Fighters and various municipalities across North America. Molly is the Peer Team Clinician for the IAFF’s 9th District Peer Support Team, has been featured in news publications and mental health podcasts, and provided clinical oversight to local non-profits in Colorado.
More speaker information coming soon!
Certificates of Attendance Available- All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance upon completion of the conference evaluation that can be used for self-submittal.
Registration is $300.00 (plus Humanitix platform fees) and includes the following:
A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided on both days. The venue has limited food choices so if you have dietary restrictions or allergies, please be advised. There will be a Networking Social on April 20th 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 will be provided and beverages will be available for purchase.
*You must register to attend. Seats are limited for this conference.
A limited amount of scholarships are available for those with financial hardships. Please contact Amanda at email@example.com for more information.
Please note Everyone will receive a registration confirmation email from our registration platform Humanitix. There is a possibility your agency's email security system may block those emails or send them to your junk folder. If you do not receive a confirmation email after registration or an email two weeks prior to the conference, please contact Shawn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note our 30 Day Refund Policy:
There are a lot of costs involved in organizing a conference. The reason we list our 30-day nonrefundable statement on the registration website when an attendee registers, is due to having to purchase everything in advance. We will allow registrations to be transferable, so food and other items don't go to waste. There will be no exceptions to this policy.
*Accommodations: Conference specials/discounted hotel rates available: Group block/discounted hotel rates available: We have a group block at the Hilton Garden Inn South Bend for May 14th, 15th and 16th for $139.00 a night. Guests may also call the property directly and mention the “1st Responders Conference” to receive the group rate between these dates. If guests are looking to book the night of May 13, please make a reservation for posted block dates and then contact Jacqui Doyle directly via email (email@example.com) or her direct line (574) 323-2480 for assistance with extending the reservation. Guests’ reservations will be made Individually through the Reservations Department by calling 574-232-7700 or using the booking link. Please book before the cut-off date of April 12, 2023. After this date, rooms not covered by a rooming list or individual reservations shall be released from the Group's room block for general sale. Any individual room cancellations within 72 hours from the date of arrival will be billed for one (1) night’s room and tax. Hotel will impose a $50.00 early departure fee for all guests who register for a specified length of stay and check out early. The front desk staff will make every effort to confirm the guest’s departure date upon check-in to minimize any confusion. Each reservation must be guaranteed with one (1) night’s room and tax, either with a major credit card, check or cash. This deposit is due at the time of reservation, and prior to cut-off date, and is subject to the cancellation policy to avoid forfeiture. Any reservation not canceled in accordance with reservation policies will be subject to a cancellation fee of one night’s room and tax, and will be charged against the deposit
Booking Link: https://www.hilton.com/en/book/reservation/deeplink/?ctyhocn=SBNINGI&groupCode=1STRES&arrivaldate=2023-05-14&departuredate=2023-05-17&cid=OM,WW,HILTONLINK,EN,DirectLink&fromId=HILTONLINKDIRECT
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 counseling services, whether medical, psychological or of any other kind, nor to diagnose, prevent, cure or treat any disease, disorder 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.
RECORDING OF CONFERENCE AND SPEAKERS IS PROHIBITED
Written consent may be given by speakers, but 1st RC staff will need to be informed prior.
COVID-19 SAFETY INFORMATION
Currently there are no mandated restrictions related to COVID.
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.
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 to share.
Please note, sometimes we have last minute speaker changes due to unforeseen reasons.
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!
*Accommodations: Conference specials/discounted hotel rates available: Group block/discounted hotel rates available: We have a group block at the Hilton Garden Inn South Bend for May 14th, 15th and 16th for $139.00 a night. Guests’ reservations will be made Individually through the Reservations Department by calling 574-232-7700. Guests will need to mention the "1st Responder Conferences" for discounted rates or guests may use the online link below. Please book before the cut-off date of April 12, 2023. After this date, rooms not covered by a rooming list or individual reservations shall be released from the Group's room block for general sale. Any individual room cancellations within 72 hours from the date of arrival will be billed for one (1) night’s room and tax. Hotel will impose a $50.00 early departure fee for all guests who register for a specified length of stay and check out early. The front desk staff will make every effort to confirm the guest’s departure date upon check-in to minimize any confusion. Each reservation must be guaranteed with one (1) night’s room and tax, either with a major credit card, check or cash. This deposit is due at the time of reservation, and prior to cut-off date, and is subject to the cancellation policy to avoid forfeiture. Any reservation not canceled in accordance with reservation policies will be subject to a cancellation fee of one night’s room and tax, and will be charged against the deposit
Does your agency or organization make wellness a priority?
If so, then we would love for you to join us by endorsing a conference in your area. First responder mental health and wellness is crucial. We cannot take care of the communities we serve
if we are not taking care of ourselves. By partnering with 1st RC as an endorsing agency, your reputation
will be bolstered in your communities and with peers. Besides gaining recognition within the
community, you will be leading the way for other agencies to follow your example.
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.
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:
First Responder Mental Health and Wellness