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First Responder Mental Health and Wellness, Spokane, WA

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Event description

Presented by 1st Responder Conferences in Partnership with First H.E.L.P.

Co-hosted by The Spokane Police Department and Spokane Chaplaincy

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/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

“Building Financial Strength in First Responder Families”- (Ret. Sgt.) Nicholas Daugherty, FinancialCop- Building Financial Strength in First Responder families is the premier financial wellness class designed for first responders, taught by first responders. We will cover the importance of financial wellness for your personal and professional lives. Topics include budgeting, how to avoid debt and pay off debt, the importance of will & estate planning, and how to build a plan to begin to win with money. Taught by instructors that have the heart of teachers to over thousands of first responders from over 2,000 agencies nationwide. Nick Daugherty began his career with the Grand Prairie Police Department (GPPD) in 2003 before semi-retiring in 2017 as a Sergeant. He continues to serve as reserve officer for GPPD. Nick operates FinancialCop, the largest financial wellness training provider for first responders nationally as well as providing comprehensive fiduciary only financial planning for first responders. FinancialCops have coached hundreds of first responder families through almost every type of financial crisis and scenario possible. He also works with several first responder nonprofit organizations, focusing on financial wellness for those suffering from PTSD and suicidal thoughts.

"Peer Support Teams - Leading from Your Strengths"- Noel Meador, Stronger Families President & CEO, and Tim Sears, Director of First Responders for Stronger Families- You were created with unique strengths. These strengths were meant to be leveraged together on your team to create unity, better outcomes, and overall increased performance. Without a proper understanding of this concept, many leaders build a team of people most like themselves and miss out on a larger vision. Leading From Your Strengths empowers team leaders and teams to discover their unique strengths and the power of differences that leads to building close knit teams. This builds a culture of leadership excellence where relationships thrive. In this session we will be covering how to… -Better understand yourself through a uniquely generated report -Help yourself and your team appreciate the strengths each of you bring to the team -Learn how different people communicate and how to leverage these differences -Define areas of tension and learn to resolve conflict without “winners and losers”  Noel Meador serves as President & CEO for Stronger Families in Seattle, Washington. In this role, he is dedicated to strengthening families and marriages and ultimately, affecting the community at large. Noel is the lead 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, 14,000 couples have gone through OXYGEN program and 300 + 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 part of the John Maxwell Leadership Team. 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 truck 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. 

"I am You, You are Me, a Post Traumatic Growth Story" -Mike Washington, Seattle Firefighter (Ret.)- Mike recently retired from the Seattle Fire Department after 27 years where he was a firefighter and Team lead with the Seattle Fire Departments Critical Incident Stress Management Team for 25 years 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.

"PTSD - The Silent Storm" -Officer Chris Sutherland and Ret. Officer Jeremy Wood- We walk the audience through our personal journey with it began, how it manifested and how we have coped and learned to live with it. We are open, honest, transparent and vulnerable with our audience. Chris and Jeremy have over 40 years of Law Enforcement experience combined. Both share a passion for helping others. Jeremy and Chris have both been involved in traumatic life changing experiences where their mental health was affected. They know first-hand that proper training and getting help for stressful events is key to success. Chris and Jeremy know that the term “first responders” means more than just police and firefighters. Often military, dispatchers, hospital staff, school staff/ students, and witnesses have had to endure trauma due to unforeseen events. Chris and Jeremy have a unique set of lenses and personal experiences that set them apart from other “safety experts” that have never worked full-time in law enforcement or in an atmosphere, tasked with the job of protecting & saving others. Together they formed a NON-Profit 501c3 called “Bigger Than Us” where one hundred percent of all funds raised go directly to helping others with PTSD. Jeremy and Chris started a company called “Brothers In Healing” focused on reducing the growing trend of First Responder suicide. Brothers In Healing is committed to breaking the mental health stigma by sharing their personal experiences and letting others know that they are not alone and professional help is available. Chris and Jeremy believe in being open and transparent. This vulnerability allows others to witness their journey and allows others to witness the power of seeking help. Chris and Jeremy want to bring others together who are suffering from post-traumatic stress and depression. Brothers In Healing believes that together as a family, we are stronger.

“Mindfulness and Resiliency”-Ryan Sawyer, Life Coach, Integrated Human Performance- Ryan will introduce the Big 4 of mental toughness from Unbeatable mind. He will also give you an introduction to the breath and the importance of understanding breathwork for daily practice and performance. Then he will dive into the power of positivity and visualization to unlock the potential of living a heart-centered life. Ryan is the author of the new book CHOICE POINT: Break the cycle of self-sabotage, accelerate your growth, and realize your true potential. He is a Licensed Unbeatable Mind Coach, Certified Q Process Facilitator, Certified Oxygen Advantage Coach, Certified Kokoro Yoga Instructor, Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher, and Speaker. Ryan is a former national champion college football coach, owner of a thriving residential painting company, and a devoted husband and father.

"Intersections in the Chaos: The overlapping injuries and neglect shared by First Responders and Veterans"- Rob Winner, Deputy Program Manager, Blue H.E.L.P.- Understanding the correlation and similarities of First Responder experiences and the broad spectrum impacts of physical/ mental/ emotional injuries. Blue HELP's primary mission is to stem the stigma of mental health by providing law enforcement professionals and their families with the necessary knowledge and instruction to recognize and reduce occupational stress injury within the first responder community. From the unit on the road to the command in the office and the kitchen table at home, understanding the stigma of suicide and the secondary impacts beyond the loss of life is imperative to healthy First Responders and families. Together let's discuss navigating the intersections of the First Responder professions within the chaos of our professions. Robert (Rob) Winner retired from the United States Air Force in 2013 after a career in Security Forces (Military Police). In addition to multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan he also served as an Emergency Services Team Leader (SWAT) and Personal Security Detail Team Leader/ Supervisor. Rob has been a Law Enforcement educator/trainer within the Department of Defense, the National Tactical Officers Association and the Colorado Police Corps. He continues to participate in firearms/tactical/medical training around the country to hone his skills. After retiring from the Air Force Rob has done contracting work, both stateside and abroad, doing Executive Protection/ Private Personal Security. More recently, Rob was a Peer Support Mentor and Executive Board Member with a PTSI/ Anxiety/ Depression non-profit focused on Veterans and First Responders. In working through his own stressors, Rob found a passion for woodworking and uses some of his creations to raise funds for a multitude of non-profit organizations that directly impact the lives of our nation’s heroes.

"Metabolic Syndrome in First Responders"- Deanna Mehlhoff ARNP, FNP-BC- First Responders have life ending cardiac events at a prehypertensive status more than any other profession. First responders are losing their lives shortly after retirement at an exceptional rate beyond the common civilian. The duties of first responders takes a physiologic toll on their bodies unlike the typical civilian leading to Metabolic Syndrome, which is the leading cause of early sudden death in otherwise seemingly healthy individuals. What good is retirement if you don’t live long enough to get to enjoy it!! If your PCP is not versed in the first responders job, or stressors of the job, including psychological and physiological stress on the body, then responders are at high risk for being under treated and misdiagnosed. This discussion will break down and easily arm responders with tools to help themselves with preventative health measures to reduce and PREVENT Metabolic Syndrome. This course will look at the shocking statistics specific to first responders and the hows and whys first responders are at high risk for illness, how to recognize symptoms and how to get the help first responders deserve! Deanna Mehlhoff is the spouse of a deputy sheriff, a primary care provider and professor of clinical education. Deanna was raised in a first responder family, her father retiring as a Lieutenant of Lake Tapps Fire Department. She has been in healthcare over 25 years with the last several years focused as a specialist in Metabolic Syndrome. She spent 18 months in graduate school researching MetS in First Responders and has carried this research into her First Responder Screening Tool in her private practice as Owner of Northwest Health Services, PLLC. In her spare time she travels to agencies in person and presents directly to responders about MetS and health and wellness. She is a Professor of clinical practice for bachelor and master students at Pacific Lutheran University. Deanna is happily married to Willie Mehlhoff, with two step children, two fur babies and a love for fishing and golfing.

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. Networking Social on February 24th 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.

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 Northern Quest Resort & Casino (Classic Rooms $129.00 Wednesday-Thursday nights. This rate will be available based on guest room availability at the Resort). Guests will need to call the resort directly at: 1-877-671-6772 and request either the 1st Responder Conference or the booking ID: 25607.  Each individual will be responsible for making his/her own reservation with the hotel by January 24, 2022.

To download a flyer please visit or contact us for flyers, basic info letters, and sponsor/industry partner/vendor forms for your organizations to share.

*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 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.

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.


While participating in events held by 1st Responder Conferences (1st RC) “social distancing” should be practiced and face coverings worn for those who are unvaccinated to reduce the risks of exposure to COVID-19. Because COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is spread mainly from person-to-person contact, 1st RC has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 1st RC cannot guarantee that its participants, volunteers, partners, or others in attendance will not become infected with COVID-19.

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.

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Refund policy

30 Day Refund Policy There are a lot of costs involved in organizing a conference (Venue, speaker fees, travel costs, hotels, catering, beverages, marketing, conference supplies, programs, lanyards, SWAG bags, etc.). The reason we list the 30-day nonrefundable statement on the registration website when an attendee registers, is due to having to purchase everything in advance. This is why we allow registrations to be transferable, so food and other items don't go to waste. There will be no exceptions to this policy.