Spokane, WA October 21-22, 2019

Hosted by the Spokane Police Department, Spokane Police Chaplaincy and Spokane Fire Department-

Presented by 1st Responder Conferences

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.

Register now for $50 off! Early bird pricing until October 14, 2019

Speakers and Topics:

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.

Surviving the Job- 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.

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.

The Alertness Edge- Steve James, PhD-Our society is dependent on first responders providing services 24/7, despite mounting evidence for negative physical and mental health outcomes from sleep displacement due to shift work. This talk reviews short- and long-term health consequences of sleep displacement and circadian misalignment due to shift work. We will also discuss the impact of sleep loss on cognitive function, decision making, and the ability of the first responder to process stress. You will be given a better understanding of why sleep alludes us and given concert advice on how to achieve more sleep. Sleep is a core biological function that can help protect you from the stresses of your job and promotes recovery. BIO- Stephen James, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane. His research focus includes the interaction between physical stressors [such as sleep and shift work related fatigue], law, policy, training and practice relating to operational performance for military and law enforcement personnel. Dr. James strives to better understand the dynamics of performance in a wide variety of policing tasks; driving, citizen encounters, crisis intervention, and deadly force encounters. Dr. James utilizes neurophysiological measurements and simulation technology to evaluate training and performance of military and law enforcement personnel.

"You Are Not Alone" -A Personal Story of Survival, Courage and Vulnerability- Officer Jared Nesary, Yakima PD-Jared will share his personal struggle with PTSD, and what recovery looks like after residential treatment. His courage to ask for help, which in his words saved his life and career. “You are not alone” is a personal story of survival, courage and vulnerability and a great reminder to all that no matter how dark the darkness gets, there is help. Jared survived PTSD and won his life back. BIO- Jared is a United States Marine Corps Veteran with over 20 years in law enforcement.  Jared worked the majority of his patrol assignment on a swing or graveyard shift.  Jared spent 9 years on SWAT, handled two Patrol K9’s “Bruno” and “Yogi”, was a Gang Officer, School Resource Officer, is currently serving as the Training Officer for the Yakima Police Department and is the lead Active Shooter/Rescue Task Force Instructor and the Lead De-Escalation Instructor for his department.  

Our Experience of Trust: Building, Breaking, and Bettering-Megan Stoffregen, LMHC, NCC- Megan will be discussing organizational stress for first responders, and provide some strategies to help cope with these stresses. She will offer an overview of some practical, proven options for managing organizational stress, as well as answer some key questions: Why is being a first responder, at some point, the best job you can't wait to leave? Why is trust so critical for agency wellness? The purpose of this presentation is to explore your first responder experience and to advance beneficial strategies for managing these inevitable organizational stresses. BIO- Megan is a licensed mental health counselor in private practice in Spokane. One of her specializations is working with first responders, their spouses and families in our public safety community. She is also a PhD candidate at Gonzaga University in Leadership Studies. Her dissertation research is about trust as a process in first responder organizations, specifically within peer support teams. 

Wellness, Responsibility, and Fitness- Ed Hoffman, Senior Chaplain |PAT Team Member|Spokane Police Department- Ed will be discussing how a life of a First Responder is exciting, highly adrenalized, and how others think you see and do all the coolest things. What they may not see is the vicarious trauma you collect at the scenes. Hearing the sounds and seeing the sights can take a toll on the life of a First Responder. We all have to be strong, be honest, and be prepared for the affects our work has on all of us. Ed will deliver an overview of how to deal with these situations and how to process through our everyday events. BIO- Ed is a lifelong resident of the city of Spokane. In his nine years with the Spokane Police Department both as a volunteer and full-time paid Chaplain within the organization, he has responded to over 1000 DOAs, officer involved shootings, and countless debrief‘s within his department, community, as well as many other agencies around the region.

Resilience: How You Recharge, Not How You Endure-Colleen Hilton, MA, LMFT Founder & CEO, Acuity Counseling- The effects of being in a career with chronic exposure to stress and trauma touch every area of a first responder; physical, psychological, neurological, emotional and relational. Until recently, the focus of care has been reactive and has taken the form of talk therapy, incident debriefings and treatment for already established symptoms of PTSD. But what if we could be proactive and improve the lives of millions of first responders and their loved ones? First Responder Resiliency flips old thinking around, and focuses on how we can build resistance to post traumatic injuries & PTSD, decrease the likelihood of substance use and other negative coping strategies and improve the lives of first responders and their families. Learn about the impact of exposure to chronic stress and trauma, what a post-traumatic injury and PTSD really look like. Gain specific skills and tools you can use to reduce the impact of critical incidents, and stress management that will prolong your career as a first responder and improve quality of life both professionally and personally. BIO-In 2016, Colleen founded Seattle-based Acuity Counseling. She currently focuses on education, training and speaking on topics related to the first responder community, as well as leading the 16 counselors of the Acuity Counseling team. Colleen holds her B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Counseling Psychology. She is a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), Clinical Member of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), and a designated provider for the WA DEA. Colleen’s approach to working with first responders is drawn from first-hand experience. Throughout the last thirteen years, her work has focused on working with a number of police and fire departments, as well as military personnel. Her work with first responders includes Critical Incident Stress Debriefings (CISDs), treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress/Traumatic Incidents and clinical work with families of first responders. 

PTSD-From Recognition to Recovery- Louis Franchino, Spokane Firefighter- Louis is a veteran military pilot and has been a Spokane firefighter for 22 years.  He will be discussing his story about how he began suffering with PTSD in the summer of 2018, what his symptoms were and how it affected his personal and professional life. He will relate it to how he was initially unaware that it was PTSD and only through the help of professional counseling and encouragement from friends and coworkers, did he realize what his "problem" was.  Louis will relate that the PTSD got so bad he had to eventually seek full time, in patient care to get it under control. Louis wants to stress to others the importance of recognizing that we, as first responders are susceptible to PTSD and only by recognizing it in ourselves and seeking treatment, can it be properly treated.

*You must register to attend. Seats are limited for this conference.  Registration is $195.00 plus Eventbrite fees.

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 October 21st directly after the close of the first day. Drinks will be available for purchase.


Sept. 19, 2019 Joint Press Conference regarding Mental Health & Wellness Training, updates on WA & ID law/benefits for PTSI/PTSD, & discussion on why this training is crucial:

Promo video with speakers/class info:


Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center

Additional Information

If you are from out of town and will be needing a hotel, we have reserved a group block at the Mirabeau Park Hotel.  Room rates are $89 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 Mirabeau Park Hotel, please call 509-924-9000 and let the front desk know you are attending the 1st Responder Conferences Mental Health and Wellness training when making your reservation.  You can also make reservations by clicking on the Book A Room Button. To get the group rate, reservations must be made by the cutoff date of September 23, 2019.  If you have missed the cutoff date, please contact the hotel to see if our group rate is still availble.  For more information about the hotel visit

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Interested in Being a Sponsor/Resource?

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. 

Spokane Flyer

Please print, share and post at your organization!

Spokane 1RC Flyer 092619 (pdf)