First Responders' Bridge Retreat

The next retreat held by First Responders' Bridge will begin on Friday, February 7th and end on Sunday, February 9th at:

Marriott Hotel
5605 Blazer Pkwy
Dublin, OH 43017

Friday

3:30P-5:30P:

Registration

Registration with the hotel
Sign consent forms

6P-7P:

Retreat Opening

Presentation of Colors
Opening prayer - Ron McMillin, Chaplain
Dinner
Our Story

7P-10P:

Keynote Speakers

Brian Pierson - Regional Director of Community Health & Wellbeing, Mount Carmel Health

Brian has tertiary care nursing clinical experience in cardiac intensive care, mobile intensive care, emergency and prison settings. He served in the United States Army and Ohio Army National Guard for 12 years as a flight medic and forward area surgical team specialist. Brian received his master's degree in business psychology accompanied by undergraduate degrees in nursing and organizational leadership. He is an experienced leader with over 20 years in the healthcare industry.

Scott Geiselhart - Frazee, MN Fire Department

Scott served as the Asst. Fire Chief of the Frazee, MN Fire Department where he retired after 24 years of service. He is a certified Peer Support Specialist and a national speaker on topics such as Post Traumatic Stress and First Responder trauma. Scott is a PTS, meth and suicide attempt survivor.

Anthony "AJ" Johnson - Columbus, OH Police Department

AJ has been a sworn member of the Columbus Division of Police since 2013. He currently serves as an active member of the Honor Guard, Officer Support and Peer Assistance team. AJ is currently a member of Humanizing The Badge where he travels across the country speaking and creating events to bridge the gap between Law Enforcement and the communities they serve. In 2017 AJ was selected by the Ohio Governors Office to serve on the Ohio Collaborative where he helps create standards and policies for police agencies across Ohio.

10P:

Socialize

Saturday

8A-9A:

Breakfast

9A-10:15A:

Speakers

Lisa Callander - Director, City of Columbus EAP

Lisa has been with the City of Columbus EAP since 1989, providing program administration, clinical services, consultations, trainings and administering the City EAP. She has extensive experience in working with First Responder's, and in the area of critical incident stress response. She serves as a member of the Mid-Ohio and Columbus Fire CISM teams, and is the Mental Health Advisor for the Columbus Police Peer Assistance Team(PAT)

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Carly Mesnick - Program Manager, Mount Carmel Health

Carly is a licensed clinical professional counselor with supervision designation. She has been working as a clinician and Director of Programs for the Mount Carmel Health, Crime and Trauma Assistance Program(CTAP) managing the treatment of trauma and related disorders for 12 years. She participates in advisory boards, committees and task forces both within Mount Carmel Health and in the community associated with crime, trauma, and the treatment of victims and survivors of crime and trauma.

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Kay Werk - LISW-S

Kay worked for 37 years at Netcare. She was instrumental as the developer and manager of the Netcare Access Community Crisis Response Team for 22 years and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) which assists with resiliency of public safety forces and other organizations encountering events stressful even to experienced personnel. Kay is one of the original 12 individuals from the United States entrusted by Dr. Francine Shapiro with training Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing for EMDR clinicians. She is an approved trainer for the International Incident Foundation(ICISF). Kay provided pro bono EMDR training for mental health professionals after the Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine shootings, and 9-11. Kay has extensive experience training Police and Fire Departments.

10:30A-12P:

Peer Panel

Police, Fire, and Dispatcher peer speakers

12P-1P:

Lunch

1P-2P:

Speaker

Deirdre DeLong - Program Coordinator, State of Ohio FOP

Deirdre is an International Critical Incident Stress Foundation approved instructor, in both group and individual classes. She is the Director of the Critical Incident Response Service and member of the Mid-Ohio and Miami Valley CISM teams. Deirdre was an EMT, a volunteer firefighter and dispatcher before entering the Police Academy in 1988. She retired from the Blue Ash Police Department. She currently teaches in a basic Police Academy and CISM classes throughout the state.

2:15P-3:15P:

Breakout Sessions

Self Care & Stress Reduction - Dr. Jack Malinky

Your stress levels will be assessed. Information will be provided how stress levels effect your brain and what tools are available to manage that stress.

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Dealing with Media and Departmental Stresses - Greg Bodker & Rich Elias

We know that some of the issues we face on a regular basis are the way we are perceived in the media and the lack of backing we sometimes feel from our administrations. We will discuss these issues as well as discuss what participants can do to minimize the negative impact it can have on us as first responders and our families at home.

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Understanding EMDR Therapy - Kay Werk

This breakout will be an informal opportunity to learn more about EMDR and discuss some examples (confidentiality maintained) as well as address questions.

Dispatchers Dealing with Stress - Kelly Davidson, ENP

This presentation includes a description of traumatic stress and its impact, particularly as it relates to
those working in public safety. The purpose of the presentation is to identify the ways in which public safety professionals are at-risk, the effects of exposure to traumatic stress, and what participants can do to prevent or minimize negative impact.

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Yoga - Liz Baldridge

This gentle class will introduce the benefits of yoga for the mind and body. Class will consist of gentle movement and deep stretching to help relieve stress in the body.

Corrections Officers Dealing with Stress - Dr. Tiffani Sharp

This presentation includes a description of traumatic stress and its impact, particularly as it relates to Corrections Officers/Parole Officers those working in these areas. The purpose of the presentation is to identify the ways in which Corrections Officers/Parole Officers are at-risk, the effects of exposure to traumatic stress, and what participants can do to prevent or minimize negative impact.

3:30P-4:30P:

Breakout Sessions

Self Care & Stress Reduction - Dr. Jack Malinky

Your stress levels will be assessed. Information will be provided how stress levels effect your brain and what tools are available to manage that stress.

Download Presentation

Dealing with Media and Departmental Stresses - Greg Bodker & Rich Elias

We know that some of the issues we face on a regular basis are the way we are perceived in the media and the lack of backing we sometimes feel from our administrations. We will discuss these issues as well as discuss what participants can do to minimize the negative impact it can have on us as first responders and our families at home.

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Understanding EMDR Therapy - Kay Werk

This breakout will be an informal opportunity to learn more about EMDR and discuss some examples (confidentiality maintained) as well as address questions.

Substance Abuse & Nutrition - Dr. Barbara Jones-Warren

In this session, we will discuss how the use of substances affects the mind/body/spirit, connect the effect of stress and use of substances on for the body/mind/spirit, discuss how to manage stress and its effects on persons every day, and delineate how good nutrition and exercise can help reduce the damaging effects of stress on the body.

iRest Meditation - Liz Baldridge

iRest is a guided mediation practice to help support healing and also gives you tools to deal with difficult situations skillfully. Based on current studies with this practice in the military, iRest has been shown to be effective for conditions including chronic pain, sleep problems, depression and anxiety, and post-traumatic stress / post-traumatic stress disorder (PTS/PTSD).

Hotel Activities
Exercise Rooms

5P-6P:

Dinner

6P-7P:

Speaker

Allison Uribe * - Wives on Duty

Allison is a pastor, conference speaker and author. In 2008, she and her husband, a Antonio, TX Police Officer, founded Wives on Duty Ministries with a mission to support, encourage, and inspire spouses of First Responder's through God's word. For 5 years, Allison was a substation chaplain with the San Antonio Police Dept. She has written 3 books to First Responder spouses, "Because I'm Suitable- The Journey of a Wife on Duty", "Cuffs and Coffee: A devotional for wives of America's Law Enforcement Officers." She recently released "Because I'm Suitable- Revised Addition" Allison is a national conference speaker with Bless the Badge and speaks regularly at Billy Graham Law Enforcement Retreats.

7P-8:30P:

Speaker

Dr. Ken Yeager, Ohio State University

Dr. Yeager holds the David E. Schuller Professorship for Patient Compassion. He has numerous publications in areas of crisis intervention; resilience building; treating co-morbid substance abuse and mental illness; quality improvement and developing quality metrics; and evidence based practice including the Oxford University Press book entitled "Evidence- Based Practice Manual: Research and Outcome Measures in Health and Human Services". He is a member of the Oxford Bibliographies Online editorial board and a treating clinician for the National Football League Program for substances of abuse. Dr. Yeager has extensive experience working with First Responders.

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9:00P - 10:00P

Entertainment

Vinnie Montez

Vinnie Montez is a Colorado native, he grew up in the largely homogenous community of Boulder, CO, which prides itself on being a bastion of cultural diversity, but which is honestly just weird. Growing up, he always wanted to be a police officer. Now a 21-year veteran of law enforcement, his experiences as a cop and his Mexican heritage are the foundation for his comedy: you just can’t make some of this stuff up.

Vinnie got into comedy in 2007 as a means of addressing the stress and trauma of dealing with horrible situations on a regular basis. Since then he has performed regularly at Denver’s Comedy Works and other national venues. His first comedy special debut was on Dry Bar Comedy, released in 2019, Vinnie Montez: Armed & Hilarious. With a focus on telling funny stories about being a police officer and promoting better mental health for the men and women in blue, he is a favorite at events around the nation.

Vinnie has shared the stage with Michelle Wolf, Chris D’Elia, Joe Rogan, John Crist, Josh Blue, Paul Rodriguez, Gilbert Gottfried, Nick Guerra, Brian Posehn, Gina Brillon, Joey Medina, Caroline Rhea, Bob Marley and more.
In 2018 Vinnie was inducted as an official member of Humanizing the Badge (HTB), an organization on a mission to help forge stronger relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.

Vinnie has become a favorite among law enforcement and corporate audiences alike, performing for the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police, Colorado Association of School Resource Officers, Rocky Mountain Hostage Negotiators, International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators, County Sheriffs of Colorado, Law Enforcement Explorer Post Advisors Association of Colorado, National Latino Peace Officers Association, University of Wyoming, Humanize the Badge, KYGO’s Christmas Crusade for Children, Hallie’s Heroes and many more.

Sunday

8A-9A:

Breakfast

9A-10A:

Speaker

"Spiritual Survival for First Responders" * - Michael McSellers - Virginia State Police

Michael J. McSellers has served our country as a United States Marine Corps veteran and has served the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Law Enforcement Officer for over fourteen years and is currently serving in the Northern Virginia area. Michael has served for over 13 years as a Field Training Officer and a member of the Honor Guard. Michael has also served over 3 years as a Chaplain, and has been a coordinator for the annual Rise Christian Police Conference and speaker held during National Police Week the past 3 years.  Michael is also the host of a podcast titled Faith on the Force and is a speaker for Billy Graham's National Law Enforcement Retreat in the United States and Canada. He's also on the Board of Blue Help which is a non profit organization that bring awareness to PTSD in law enforcement, law enforcement suicide while also providing assistance to families of Law Enforcement suicide.

10A-11A:

Speaker

"Post Retreat Planning - Building A Bridge” - Dr. Mike Wagner

Dr. Michael Wagner is a clinical psychologist in Columbus Ohio.  Licensed 27 years ago, he has worked in many different settings and facilities ranging from outpatient private practice to inpatient psychiatric care.  He has founded two large, successful mental health clinics, and currently serves as Director of Behavioral Services at an outpatient behavioral practice located in Dublin, Ohio and as a forensic psychologist at Netcare.  Dr. Mike enjoys assisting First Responders with healing and recovery.  He also serves on the board of trustees for First Responders' Bridge.

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11A-11:45A:

Speaker

Steve Click - Ohio Assist

Steven M. Click recently retired as a lieutenant, assigned to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Office of Personnel / Ohio ASSIST program.  Steve has been involved in peer support with the Patrol’s Member’s Assistance Team (MAT) since its inception in 2002.  He previously served as the Operational Commander.  Prior to retirement, he oversaw all aspects of the MAT including policies, activations and training.

He has been active in peer support since being CISM trained in 1993.  He was deployed to New York City twice after the 9/11 attacks and worked with the NYPD peer support program, POPPA.

Steve is trained in both group and individual peer support by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.  He oversees the Post Critical Incident Seminars for Ohio.  He has been utilized as a peer in South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas and Georgia, for their PCIS / STLS programs.  He serves as the Crisis Awareness Training, and other critical incident training program instructor for Ohio ASSIST, having provided training to a number of Ohio agencies including the Highway Patrol.

He currently serves as the First Responder Liaison to the Trauma Informed Care program for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.  He also continues to oversee the Ohio ASSIST Post Critical Incident Seminar program.

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11:45A-12P:

Retreat Closing

Mick Yinger - Closing remarks
Chaplain Ron McMillin - Closing prayer

Complete Retreat Evaluations & Goals

* Denotes religious message by speaker