North Bay-based nonprofit has trained over 5,000 First Responders in resiliency
Santa Rosa, CA—Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are not typically words you would hear in the first responder world. First Responders Resiliency, Inc. (FRRI) is striving to change the culture in fire departments, police stations, ambulance bays, and hospitals so these words and practices become commonplace. “Since 2018, we have trained over 5,000 first responders in resiliency and we are beginning to see a culture-shift where these men and women are placing importance on their own health and well-being,” says founder and retired paramedic, Susan Farren.
When a first responder attends a 3-day conference at Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg, they are exposed to several modalities that allow them to learn how to prevent injuries and illnesses caused by the ongoing stress and trauma they experience on the job. The modalities include yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, and energy discharge. Combined with learning modules such as neuroanatomy, the nervous system, sleep, nutrition, and substance abuse, first responders are able achieve a holistic approach to improving their health and well-being.
Are they making a difference? Undoubtedly.
Attendees will be able to take what they learn and apply it both on and off duty. “I can honestly say that the retreat was life changing for me. I came in that weekend not really understanding why I would feel or act a certain way after I would get home from work…after having a hard shift. At times I felt like I was the only one feeling this way. [FRRI] made me realize how important self-care is and not to be sorry to take care of ourselves for once. I have tools now that will help me be successful in my career and in life,” remarks a firefighter/paramedic attendee.
First Responders Resiliency, Inc. is committed to improving the well-being of first responders—starting with themselves, they train those who save others to save themselves. FRRI’s long-term goal is to build a legacy, the first-ever First Responder Resiliency Center in Cotati, CA, followed by centers built across the nation. The Resiliency Center will be for active and retired first responders and their families and will include massage rooms, yoga and meditation studios, a large lecture/conference hall, equine therapy, recovery programs, a cancer resource center, and family services department.
Founded and operated by first responders, First Responders Resiliency, Inc. (FRRI) is an evidence-based, proactive, nonprofit organization dedicated to the psychological, neurological, physical, emotional and relational well-being of first responders and their families.