First Responders' Bridge Retreat

The First Responders' Bridge retreat beginning on Friday, December 8th and ending on Sunday, December 10th. You are not alone!!

Marriott Hotel
5605 Blazer Pkwy
Dublin, OH 43017

Register for December Retreat




Registration with the hotel
Sign consent forms


Retreat Opening

Presentation of Colors/Pledge of Allegiance - Whitehall Police and Fire Department Honor Guard
National Anthem - Matt Tibbs - Columbus Fire Department
Opening Prayer - Joe Lorenz - Columbus Fire Dept.-Wellness Bureau/Chaplain First Responders' Bridge


Our Story


Brian Pierson - Vice President 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.


Keynote Speakers


Patrick J. Kenny

Patrick Kenny has been a member of the fire service for over 38 years, and before retiring in January 2021 served as the Fire Chief in Hinsdale and Western Springs, Illinois. He has been a Chief Officer for over 25 years and a speaker in multiple countries on Mayday for Mental Health® for more than a decade. He is the international best-selling author of TAKING THE CAPE OFF: How to Lead Through Mental Illness, Unimaginable Grief and Loss and has articles published in the areas of mental health, leadership, fire safety, and fire code challenges. He was awarded the Fire Chief of the Year in 2004 by the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and in 2021 he was awarded Fire Chief Emeritus status by the Executive Board of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association. He was awarded the Fire Engineering/International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award for 2020-2021.


Keynote Speakers



Brian Weiskittle- Columbus Fire Department- "Emptying my Heart"

Jo Terry    

Jo Terry is a recently retired licensed physical therapist who owned her own outpatient physical therapy clinic for over 20 years. She was married to Assistant Chief Alan "Chip" Terry,(ret) from the City of Covington Fire Department for 31 years who completed suicide in 2017 after being misdiagnosed. Since his death in 2017, Jo has spent her time working with first responders and their families affected by PTS and teaching the class she developed called Trauma and its Effect on First Responders and their Family, telling Chip's story and the effects of suicide on those left behind. Jo is the president of The Chip Terry Fund for First Responders which she and her children established to provide first responders and their families with educational, financial, and emotional support. The Chip Terry Fund has assisted over 100 individuals with access to inpatient and outpatient services locally and nationally. In 2022, she was hired by the City of Covington Fire Department to become their Wellness Coordinator, to address the multitude of factors influencing mental and physical wellness for the department members. Jo is the mother of 6 children and in her spare time she enjoys working on her farm, hiking, exercising , and traveling with her family.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       





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)



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. AJ has well over 1.7 million followers on social media. 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.



Socialize/Connect with Others



Voluntary chapel service in ballroom






Self Care & Well Being Discussion Groups

Law Enforcement/Corrections Officers - Group #1 Lisa Callander, Group #2 Ra'Shawd Davis

Firefighters / EMS - Dr. Jack Malinky

Dispatchers  - Sharon Saia

Spouses / Significant Others ONLY - Group #1 Alison Fienning,  Group #2 Brian Pierson






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

Bio- 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 fifteen years and is currently serving in the Northern Virginia area. Michael has served for over 15 years as a Field Training Officer and a member of the Honor Guard. Michael has also served over 5 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 6 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.



Time to connect w/ each other and others




Panel Discussion- "Strengthening First Responder Relationships & Parenting Strategies"

The first part of the panel Ra'Shawd Davis will conduct a panel discussion with 3 first responder children where the attendees can ask questions.

The second part of the panel will be focused on first responder relationships, both single relationships and those who are married. These can even be relationships with co-workers and employers.






*Allison Uribe  - Wives on Duty Ministries*
Allison is a chaplain, conference and retreat speaker and author. In 2008, she and her husband, an 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.  Today Allison is Lead Community Chaplain through Assemblies of God Chaplaincy Ministries and an ordained minister. She has written 2 books to First Responder spouses, "Because I'm Suitable- The Journey of a Wife on Duty" (revised version is now available), "Cuffs and Coffee: A devotional for wives of America's Law Enforcement Officers."

8:30P - 9:30P


Vinnie Montez - Commander, Boulder Colorado Sheriff/Comedian
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.

Food and drinks provided.


Voluntary stretching and meditation in ballroom






Panel Discussion

"Ask a Clinician"

Attendees will hear from a panel of clinicians that all have experience working with First Responders and their families on topics such as,  what is the process to getting into counseling? Finding the right "fit" and discussing the different therapeutic interventions that are available.

Attendees will then have the opportunity to ask questions to the panel of clinicians.




Stan Partlow- "Post Retreat Planning - Living Relentlessly”

Stan Partlow joined AEP in October 2005. Stan recently retired as the Vice President and Chief Security Officer and had responsibility for Cyber Security, Physical Security and Aviation. During his AEP career, Stan has also had responsibility for the AEP motor vehicle fleet, the enterprise procurement function and business continuity.

Prior to joining AEP, Stan served the Law Enforcement community for over 25 years. Stan served the Columbus Division of Police for over 21 years and retired as the Commander of the Detective Bureau. Prior to that Stan served in numerous roles in Patrol, Narcotics, Professional Standards and Training during his tenure as an Officer, Sergeant and Lieutenant.

Stan served as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1984-1988 where he was responsible for conducting a variety of criminal investigations. In his law enforcement career, Stan has supervised dignitary protection details, and has been a member of the protection staff of two Columbus Mayors. He has been a SWAT team member for the Charlotte Division FBI Team, and a member of the Columbus Division of Police Underwater Search and Recovery Team. Stan also served as a Hostage Negotiator for the Columbus Division of Police.

Stan is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Leadership College. Stan holds the designation of Certified Law Enforcement Executive from the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. Stan completed the FBI Domestic Security Executive Academy. Stan earned the Certified Protection Professional certification from ASIS, a worldwide security organization. Stan completed the AEP/OSU Leadership Program and the Executive Level Targeted Development program.


Stan holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Capital University School of Law (1995), a Master of Science degree in Administration from Central Michigan University (1990), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Bowling Green State University (1980).

Stan is a member of the Board of Trustees of Franklin University and he serves on the Board of Directors of The Center for Family Safety and Healing. Stan is a founder of the Columbus Police Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors for the Bridge an organization dedicated to mental healing for first responders.


Retreat Closing

Mick Yinger - Closing remarks
Chaplain Joe Lorenz - Closing prayer

* Denotes religious message by speaker