First Responders Resiliency, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization created For First Responders, By First Responders, 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.
Resiliency instructors provide education and skills vital to our mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. You will leave the training with new tools and techniques that will not only enhance your professional performance – but may even save your 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 2016, Susan had to come to grips with the physical, emotional and mental impact the career had taken on her – and 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 the published author of The Fireman’s Wife, A Memoir. Her second book, Firestorm, A Survivor’s Story is due for release in 2019
Director of Operations
Retired Fire Engineer
Ron Shull has served 31 years with the Santa Rosa Fire Dept., retiring in 2014 from his position as a fire engineer 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.
Emergency Medicine Specialist
Dr. Gary McCalla has more than 30 years of experience as a residency-trained, board-certified Emergency Medical Specialist. During his time serving as an ER Physician at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, McCalla was trained as the Medical Director for both REACH Helicopters and American Medical Response, Inc. (AMR) in Santa Rosa, CA. Along with his experience in emergency medicine, he gained extensive knowledge in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. As proven, Gary shows himself to be an incredible contribution to the evolution of the mental well-being of health care providers.
Retired Police Officer
Erik Baarts served 22 years with three separate law enforcement agencies. He retired in 2019 from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Baarts has a BS degree in Criminal Justice Management from the Union Institute and University. He additionally graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute with 20 years of instructor experience teaching P.O.S.T. approved courses, along with being an adjunct instructor at Mendocino Community College. Baarts has been provided with various experiences working with first responders coping with Post Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI) through volunteer work and by being a member of his department’s peer support team.
Retired U.S. Navy
Tod Ceruti is a military veteran, certified Fire Flex, Veteran Warrior, and Prison Instructor who teaches a unique form of physical resilience to civilians 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.
Retired Captain/Field Commander
Cathy Wayne began her career as a First Responder in 1980, working her way up from being an EMT to Paramedic with Acme Western Ambulance in Oakland, CA. Wayne then joined the California Highway Patrol in 1984 where she spent the next 27+ years working in various assignments throughout the Bay Area. She has worked in Road Patrol, Commercial Operations, K-9 Narcotics Interdiction, and Dispatch Communications in Oakland, Vallejo, Martinez, Dublin, Sunol and San Jose, CA. Wayne was eventually promoted to several ranks over the years and ended her successful career as a Captain/Field Commander of the San Jose Area 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. She combines her knowledge and skills as a diagnostician in the western and traditional medicine worlds with a deep compassion and intuition, in order to provide a comprehensive treatment plan for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing for her patients. Dr. Riegle utilizes conventional treatment methods, as well as healing modalities such as herbal medicine, functional and physical medicines..