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FFret Jim Madison – Resilence X 1000

Retired firefighter and military guy Jim Madison is on the show. He is the epitome of resilience. That saying, it’s not how many times you fall down, but how many times you get up. Jim has had to get up off the floor MANY times. He has suffered multiple injuries on the job and has ended up in a wheelchair. That hasn’t stopped him. He races hand cycles and is going to compete in the Los Angeles marathon March 19th. This guy shows that as long as you don’t give up you can keep living life and be happy.

ret FF Keith Hanks – Putting His Life Back Together From C-PTSD

Keith joins the podcast and shares how his life fell apart and after a diagnosis of Complex PTSI, he put it back together. His road to recovery included 6 suicide attempts. He shares incredible insight into what drives some to suicide.
Keith Hanks is a retired Firefighter and EMT that dedicated 21 years of his life to the service of others. He serviced his community as a training officer, certified educator, and field training officer. Keith worked both inner-city EMS as well as fire. Like many in the first responder community the job has its cost. From childhood trauma, traumatic calls, the traumatic passing of his first wife and sexual abuse Keith has faced many trials and tragedies that resulted in self-harm, substance abuse, lies and multiple suicide attempts. After decades of damage Keith began to put the pieces of his life back together.
Keith was diagnosed with Complex PTSI in 2015. The job, the service, his dedication caused this injury, and consequently his retirement. What PTSI didn’t change was the love and devotion to his community and to his fellow first responders. Keith has since dedicated his life to advocating for mental illness, substance and alcohol abuse recovery, and suicide awareness.

My Story of Having to Save My Own Life

I had the honor of being a guest on the incredible podcast, A Slight Change of Plans hosted by cognitive scientist Maya Shanker. Apple named A Slight Change of Plans the best podcast of 2021 and it has over 10 million downloads and Dr. Shanker took the time to interview a retired firefighter/paramedic amongst all the celebrities and well known people she usually interviews. Her podcasts are nothing short of amazing. She puts an incredible amount of work into each one and nails the stories right on the head. I loved my time talking with her and she got my story exactly right. I hope you don’t miss this one. You can find A Slight Change of Plans anywhere you get your podcasts.

Slight Change of Plans Podcast

Paramedic Cheri Garcia: Reinventing Yourself

Ret. Paramedic Cheri Garcia sits down with the Firefighter Deconstructed after a short winder break. Cheri talks about realizing she couldn’t do the job anymore without it further ruining her life and who she was. She had to reinvent herself and who she is – and she did with with grace and perserverence. Giving back and helping to save us is what she aims to do.

ret FF/PM Michael Loew, Carr Wildland Fire and the Aftermath

Michael Loew was a Firefighter and Paramedic for almost 30 years. He cruised along pretty well until he was caught in the middle of the Carr Fire. The Carr fire, burned 229,651 acres of the Shasta and Trinity counties, burned down over a thousand homes and killed 3 firefighters and 5 civilians. Michael talks about his experience at the fire and the effects the danger and devastation caused for him.
This will be the last episode until January of 2023. Christy is taking some time off to regroup and get the show running on full instead of near empty. I hope you will be back for next season and thank you for your time!

FF Don Pemberton: How to Prevent PTSD and Get Help When it Hits

Don Pemberton

Don sits down with Christy and talks about coaching first responders to create and maintain healthy lives and actions that can help PREVENT Post Traumatic Stress. He and the organization, 1st Responder Coaching, really have something here that all first responders could use–either as individuals or as whole organizations. I really encourage you to take a listen. This service has the capability to help so many people.

Use the promo code: deconstructed to save 10% off your first month of coaching

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Ret. Police Officer Stephanie Polizziani – Finding Light when it Became Dark

Retired police officer Stephanie Polizziani spent 15 years as a police officer, most of them for the city of Berkeley and then moved on to Benicia. She began to feel her life become dark. She planned on just keeping her head down on and not dealing with it. That is until her husband, also a police officer, told her she needed to get some help. Stephanie has a unique perspective as a police officer and a police officer’s wife. She shares how it feels different now to be a police officer’s wife as a stay at home mom. Stephanie also incorporates how all the recent anti police rhetoric has affected her during her career. She is very tough and carries a huge heart.

SGB Could Change Everything – Shauna “Doc” Springer

Today’s show is awesome and everyone should listen to this. Shauna Doc Springer and I talk about an existing and very accessible total game changer in the treatment of PTSD. It’s called the Stellate Ganglion Block. We also talk about first responder suicide and thoughts for friends and loved ones of someone who dies by suicide.

Shauna ‘Doc’ Springer is a licensed psychologist, best-selling author, frequently requested keynote speaker, award-winning podcast host, and one of the world’s leading experts on psychological trauma, military transition, suicide prevention, and close relationships. A Harvard graduate who has become a trusted Doc to our nation’s military warfighters and first responders, she navigates diverse cultures with exceptional agility. As Chief Psychologist for STELLA, she advances a new model for treating psychological trauma that combines biological and psychological interventions. Doc Springer is frequently sourced by the media for her uniquely perceptive insights on trauma recovery, post-traumatic growth, psychological health, and interpersonal relationships, developed from two decades of work at the extremes. Her work has been featured in multiple media outlets, including VICE, NPR, NBC, CNN, CBS Radio, Forbes, Business Insider, Military Times,, Gun Talk Radio, Coffee or Die Magazine, Havok Journal, THRIVE GLOBAL, US News and World Report, NEWSMAX, The Daily News, Police1,, and Psychology Today. In her recently published book, RELENTLESS COURAGE: Winning the Battle AgainstFrontline Trauma, along with Sergeant (Ret) Michael Sugrue, she tackles the complexity of trauma with the law enforcement community, uncovers the unspoken barriers, and outlines a path to healing. RELENTLESS COURAGE has been described by Lt. Col. David Grossman, best-selling author of On Killing and On Combat as “one of the most important books of our time” and “the natural successor to On Combat.
RELENTLESS COURAGE: Winning the Battle Against Frontline Trauma
Shauna ‘Doc’ Springer on the human impact of first responder trauma

PTSD is a Physical Injury – Nan Herron, MD Explains

Today’s show is all about the brain and what happens to it when it’s exposed to trauma repeatedly. Dr. Nan Herron, a real medical doctor, and I sit down and talk about why people want to drop the D in PTSD and replace it with an I – because it’s not a disorder, it’s an injury. Like a real, physical injury to your brain. Remember we had on Paula Siddens, the CHP officer who had a serious head injury from crashing her bike, and how almost all of her symptoms were the same as PTS? Dr. Herron spells it out in language that even us firefighters can understand. In her private practice she specializes in working with first responders. She has lectured and taught workshops throughout the USA and in Haiti, Fiji and Kenya. She is the Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Santa Rosa Hospital, California.


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