Suquamish, WA November 12-13, 2020

Co-hosted by the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office

Presented by 1st Responder Conferences & 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, 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 October 21, 2020.

Speakers and Topics:

"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. 

"Families First"- Rebecca Bowen, School Counselor, Enumclaw School District and Founder of The Emotional Wellness Project & Rick Bowen, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission; Program Manager-- The duties of first responders and the lifestyle it creates can take a significant toll on their families unless intentional measures are taken to minimize potential negative effects and outcomes. Families can not only survive but actually thrive with their first responders if priorities and expectations are identified, honest communication is welcomed, and healthy practices are put into place. This course will offer a look into the dynamics of a first responder’s family and will offer ideas and tools that will prove helpful in facilitating healthy family habits and dynamics. Rick is a veteran of the U.S. Army, a retired law enforcement officer, and former Commander of the Basic Law Enforcement Academy at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. In this role he has spoken with thousands of recruits and their families about this topic and about health and wellness for first responders. Rebecca is a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve and has worked for over 25 years as a School Counselor and School Psychologist and is the founder of The Emotional Wellness Project focused on providing tools for parents and educators to nurture emotional wellness in children. They have been married for 34 years, have 3 grown children and will soon welcome their sixth grandchild.

"Positive Psychology"- Rick Bowen, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission; Program Manager-First responders may become vulnerable to powerful negative feelings and depleting emotions. The science of Positive Psychology contends that all people have the potential to take control of how events and emotions effect them personally. People have the ability to manage the lens through which they view the world and ultimately take control of their well-being. Techniques and strategies to maintain healthy practices and perpetual optimism will be discussed in this presentation.  

Following 5 Years in the U.S. Army serving as a Military Intelligence Officer Rick joined the King County Sheriff's Office in 1990. He retired as a Sergeant in December 2014 and immediately assumed his new duties as the Commander of the Basic Training Division at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC). After 4 years in command Rick stepped into another role and currently serves as a program manager in the Advanced Training Division at the WSCJTC.

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.

"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.

Why in God’s Name Would I Need a Chaplain?- Jeff Humphrey, Island County Sheriff's Office Chaplain- Stress, disappointment, pain and trauma are unavoidable in the lives of First Responders, LEO and Dispatchers. It just goes with the territory. As much as we want to ignore these sights, sounds and smells, they often attach themselves to lives. Day after day, incident after incident, these things can change our personhood and make the career that we once loved become the job that we loath. Chaplains can be a great service and resource of help and hope. How can your Chaplain help you? What do Chaplains do? Do you have to be religious to talk with a Chaplain? Can Chaplains be useful at a crisis incidents? Jeff will help you understand the role of a Chaplain in your life and how to utilize a Chaplain at an incident. He’ll provide practical ideas and ways to navigate thru the dark days of PTSI and bring hope to your life. Jeff Humphrey serves as the Chaplain for Island County Sheriff’s Office. He provides support for LEO, ICOM, Island County Jail and Fire & Rescue through ride alongs, coffee, fishing and tacos. He is also the Founder and Executive Director for Whidbey Community Resource Chaplains. WCRC provides resource Chaplains to the different agencies of Whidbey Island when a crisis happens and multiple Chaplains are needed for support to members of the community.

More speaker information coming soon!

Continental Breakfast and lunches are provided on both days.

*Networking Social - November 12th, from 4:00-6:00 pm (Included in your registration) @ 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.

*Accommodations: Conference specials/discounted hotel rates available: Group block/discounted hotel rates available:  We have a group block at The Clear Water Casino Resort ($96-$136/night until October 14th or until the group block is sold out.)  All reservations for the group will be handled through the Clearwater Casino Resort's reservation department and guests may call this toll free number (866) 609-8700 and use group ID 17608.

Nearby Overflow Hotel Options: The Point Casino and Hotel , The Marshall Suites,  Guest House Inn Suites and Hotel (Please check Google for more)  

*You must register to attend. Seats are limited for this conference. Early Bird registration is open until October 21st and is $199.00. Registration after October 21st will be $249.00 (Plus Eventbrite charges) 

A limited amount of scholarships are availble for those with financial hardships. Please contact Amanda at for more information.


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.  Please keep in mind that the photos and videos we take are mostly of the overall attendees and not specific to one person.  We respect the privacy of everyone at our conferences and we will not use photos or videos that jeopardize your well being.

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 disclaimer form that must be signed. If you have any questions regarding the waiver please contact us, so we can be of assistance.

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!

Files coming soon.


Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort

Need a Room?

*Accommodations: Conference specials/discounted hotel rates available: Group block/discounted hotel rates available: We have a group block at The Clear Water Casino Resort ($96-$136/night until October 14th or until the group block is sold out.) All reservations for the group will be handled through the Clearwater Casino Resort's reservation department and guests may call this toll free number (866) 609-8700 and use group ID 17608.

Nearby Overflow Hotel Options:

The Point Casino and Hotel , The Marshall Suites, Guest House Inn Suites and Hotel (Please check Google for more) 

Call to Reserve a Room!

Hosted & Endorsed by Agencies Who are Making a Difference!


Our Partners

Co-presented by Blue HELP
Sponsored by

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)