First Responders Resiliency, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created For First Responders, By First Responders. We are dedicated to the psychological and physical well-being of those who serve, or have served, in the industry.
Our IRS tax-exempt EIN is 82-4439334.
Our Resiliency Instructors provide education and proactive tools vital to a first responder's mental, physical, emotional, and relational well-being. Every participant leaves our training with new skillsets and techniques that not only enhance one's professional performance – but may even save their life.
Meet Our Team of Instructors
Susan Farren is the founder of First Responders Resiliency Inc. A graduate of the Stanford paramedic program, Susan has served her entire career in the industry of pre-hospital care. Serving in both the private and public sectors as a paramedic, supervisor, operations manager, peer counselor, clinical manager, EMS educator and consultant throughout the greater Bay Area.
After being diagnosed with kidney cancer in early 2016 an undergoing major surgery, Susan was floored by the research she found about first resp physical, emotional and mental impacts her career had on her personal and professional life. the Resiliency Training Program was born.
After her treatment and recovery, Susan dove into the research and subsequent data discovered involving the mental and physical impacts the industry had taken on her. Armed with that knowledge she pulled together a team of experts from every division of the industry who are working as a team to change the lives of First Responders.
A regularly sought after inspirational speaker and a published author of The Fireman’s Wife, A Memoir. Her second book, Responder Resiliency, An Owner's Manual is now available to purchase.
Lead Resiliency Instructor & Researcher
Fire Engineer (ret.)
Ron Shull served 31 years with the Santa Rosa Fire Department, retiring in 2014 from the department’s busiest station, Station 1. Shull additionally served on the department’s Union Executive Board as well as pioneered their wellness and fitness program. In 2012, he was voted by his peers as Firefighter of the Year.
Dr. Gary McCalla
Lead Resiliency Instructor
Emergency Medicine Specialist
Dr. Gary McCalla has 30+ years of experience as a residency-trained, board-certified Emergency Medical Specialist. He has been trained as the Medical Director for both REACH Helicopters and American Medical Response, Inc. (AMR). Dr. McCalla currently teaches our Cognitive Behavioral Therapy module.
Director of Training & Logistics
Vallejo Fire Captain (ret.)
Eric Strom has a 31-year career as an award-winning Firefighter and Paramedic. He has served as Captain for the Town of Corte Madera and City of Vallejo and Chair of the Vallejo Fire Department’s Health and Safety Committee. In 2017 Eric received the Hero’s Award from Congressman Mike Thompson for his work in the department’s safety program and for actions taken during the 2017 Sonoma County Tubbs Fire.
U.S. Navy Seal (ret.)
Tod Ceruti is a military veteran, certified Fire Flex, Veteran Warrior, and Prison Yoga Instructor who teaches a unique form of physical resilience to civilians, first responders, and prisoners alike. Ceruti’s experience as a military vet, combined with his own incredible journey into physical wellness is a life-altering benefit to anyone who learns from him.
Lead Resiliency Instructor
Captain/Field Commander (ret.)
Cathy Wayne promoted early in her career from an EMT to Paramedic with Acme Western Ambulance in Oakland, CA. She transitioned in her career with the California Highway Patrol, spending 27+ years working in Road Patrol, Commercial Operations, K-9 Narcotics Interdiction, and Dispatch Communications in the East Bay and South Bay Areas. After several ranks over the years, she ended her career as a Captain, Field Commander in 2011.
Dr. Jen Riegle
Dr. Jen Riegle is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, with a degree from Bastyr University, one of the leading institutions in natural medical care and research. Riegle carries advanced certifications and training in environmental medicine, women’s health, infertility, biofeedback, and traditional medicine practices. Dr. Riegle utilizes conventional treatment methods, as well as healing modalities such as herbal medicine, functional and physical medicines..
Founder/Executive Director of Perimeter Platform
Bailey heads the team as Chief Executive Officer at her company, Perimeter Platform. This is where she directs sales, fundraising, and team operations. Coming from a family of first responders, she was inspired to working closely with first responder wellness. She brings over six years of technology sales experience to the team and extensive knowledge of data-driven business models.
Senior Qi'Gong Instructor
Nick Loffree is a Senior Instructor and Teacher Trainer for the internationally recognized school Holden QiGong. He has studied Neuroscience, Buddhist/Yogic conceptions of the mind, Nutritional Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Loffree now works with us to provide Qigong as PTSD therapy to police, firefighters, and military participants.
Brett Snow, Ph.D.
Clinical Christian Counseling
Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant (ret)
Brett Snow is a retired Lieutenant from the Chicago Fire Department and served over 32 years in the fire service. He began his career as a volunteer firefighter in a small Illinois town. As his passion grew, this eventually led him to be hired by the second largest fire department in the nation. A number of years later, he decided to take a short stint away from the streets to recalibrate his way of thinking and become head of the department’s research and development team. This is where he studied cancer and wellness research relating to the fire service. During this time, he earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Christian Counseling. He now devotes his time to helping first responders and their families by way of, what can be referred to as, “Spiritual Life Training."