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Tag: EMT

The Code 9 Project: “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” Brandielee Baker

Brandielee Baker is our guest today on Positive Connections Radio. She is a former First Responder working in EMS and is a professional coach/strategist specializing in wellness, specifically stress, anxiety and conflict.
Brandielee is the cofounder of the national non-profit organization, The Code 9 Project, the founder of Positive Constructs, and the creator, and executive director, of the nationally accredited, S.H.A.R.E. and T.U.F. Training Programs.
The Code 9 Project is a national non-profit that provides education, training and advocacy for the prevention of PTSD and suicide for law enforcement, first responders and their families.
The Code 9 Project also serves as a bridge between First Responders and their communities by providing; outreach, education and community building. They have a team of chaplains, peer support, critical incident trainers and a specialized trauma debriefing team for individuals, police and fire departments, first responders, frontline workers and hospital staff.
The Code 9 Project has a national helpline that is 24/7 for all frontline workers and first responders. The Code 9 Project national helpline number is 844-HOPE-247.
For more information on The Code 9 Project, visit: and follow @code9project on Facebook and @thecode9project on Instagram.

Bill Pepitone ret NYPD, Mayoral Candidate of New York City

Bill Pepitone, City of New York Mayoral Candidate and former New York Police Officer, sits down with The Firefighter Deconstructed and talks about the heavy toll police work takes on officers and their families. He is a big, strong, tough guy born and raised in the Bronx and HE says it’s ok to not be ok. He says it’s so important to ask for help before you get the point of suicide. If a long time police officer from New York says it’s not weak to be affected by the job and ask for help, then you know it’s ok to not be ok.

Ryan Dedmon-Outreach Director of the 911 institute

Former Dispatcher Ryan Dedmon sits down with the Firefighter Deconstructed and talks about his co-worker’s suicide and his own downward spiral. And most importantly, how he climbed back out of it. Ryan is a great speaker and has important information that will help all first responders. He now trains dispatchers and is the Outreach Director for the 9-1-1 Institute, The 9-1-1 institute works to bridge dispatchers with qualified local mental health professionals to be sure they get the help they need. The Institute now includes a team of experts who create uniquely qualified 911 education and consulting services to support the health and performance of our Very First Responders here in North America and abroad.

U.K. Paramedic/Police Officer Sue M – Ask Yourself, Do I Really Want To Be Well?

Sue M, all the way from Ireland. Sue M is an extraordinary person. She served as a paramedic and then a police officer in the United Kingdom for 14 years and experienced PTSD and several personal hardships and now she devotes her life to helping others get help when they are hit with PTSD. She’s written a book, started a support network, and answers phone calls all day from first responders and their agencies needing help. It’s worth listening to just for the Irish accent. Hear her inspiring story and how she got to where she is now.
Overcoming Trauma on the frontlines, by Sue M.
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Officer Chris Hoyer – When That Day Comes

Retired Police Officer, Christopher Hoyer is a protector, survivor and advocate for mental, physical and emotional wellness. After 20+ years as a street cop, having been faced with the worst horrors imaginable, he has turned his focus to sharing his story with others, helping the law enforcement community prepare for the trauma that comes with the job. He has spoken to thousands, including first responders, mental health professionals and various professional entities, sharing his story in hopes of saving lives. His book, When That Day Comes, was written to honor the memory of all fallen Law Enforcement Officers, one in particular, and to pass on what time on the street taught him about survival … mental, physical and emotional.

S5E31: Mark Long

For the Season 5 Finale I finally sit down with mental health advocate and the founder of Cracked Armour Gear, Mark Long. In typical Cracked Armour fashion, Mark pulls no punches chatting about his career as a law enforcement officer, the motivation behind Cracked Armour, and his big plans for the future. You don’t want to miss this!
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District Fire Chief Jason Cothell, From the Very Bottom to the Top

Today we have Fire District Chief Jason Corthell. Another amazing guy from Texas. Jason is another guy who feel into that dark hole and found a way out. Then he built an incredible peer support team that he shares all over the country. This guy is a 4th generation firefighter and started his firefighting career as a volunteer with Cypress Creek Fire Department in 2004. Jason served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2006-2010. Chief Corthell serves as the wellness/fitness initiative director for his department as well as many works within the department’s public relation roles. Jason has a great passion and drive for progressing mental wellness in the fire service through both personal and professional battles and experiences. He has implemented and influenced many others in the pursuit of providing first responders the help that they need. This is a good listen for any department/organization looking to build or improve their peer support team. Chief Corthell also works part-time instructor at Lonestar College Fire Academy. The Corthell Family resides in Hockley, Texas where he is happily married with three children and enjoys woodworking, sports, traveling to breweries, and grilling.

The First Responder Project: Dr. Tracy S. Hejmanowski

Podcast 52: Positive Connections Radio
The First Responder Project: Dr. Tracy S. Hejmanowski

Dr. Tracy S. Hejmanowski is a licensed clinical psychologist, with 20 years of clinical expertise working with service members, first responders, veterans, and their families. Her work began at a VA Medical Center, followed by neuropsychological and emotional assessment of repatriated prisoners of war. She was stationed overseas and stateside as an active duty U.S. Navy psychologist, followed by work as a DoD contractor for 11 years as the Program Manager of Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Deployment Health Center. In addition to providing individual, group, marital, and family therapy, she introduced innovative interventions, to include scuba-based physiologic retraining and equine-assisted therapy.
Dr. Hejmanowski is a nationally and locally requested speaker on trauma-related subjects for military and civilian first responder communities. She has been a regular presenter for Special Warfare and Operations reintegration programs. She has authored articles on operational stress and was recognized for behavioral health initiatives related to occupational trauma. She was nationally recognized by the Center for Operational Stress Control with the Peabody Caregiver of the Year Award – the first time awarded to a civilian provider.
For the past 7 years, Dr. Hejmanowski has provided program development and lead clinical facilitation for non-profit organizations that provide therapeutic retreats for veterans and first responder communities, including her own non-profit, First Responder Project. [A native of upstate New York, Dr. Hejmanowski lives with her husband, a U.S. Navy Iraq War veteran and ER physician, and their four children in Jacksonville, Florida.]

FF ret Joshua Concepcion – PTSI and Department Betrayal

Josh’s 13 year firefighting career was cut short by PTSD and department betrayal. His attitude and resilience is nothing short of inspiring. No matter how tough everything became he just kept putting one foot in front of the other. If you listen to this episode you will find yourself rooting for him. And if you can root for Josh, you should be rooting for yourself! Department leadership can learn from this episode too, because this department blew it. They lost a valuable member and treated a human being like a piece of equipment.

Former 10851 Bus Driver: Sgt. Jeni Gruner

Jeni was employed as a police officer at Patrick Henry High School on Saint Patrick’s Day 2012. On this day she finally realized she needed to address her alcoholism when she commandeered a bus in an attempt to driver herself home. She was subsequently hot stopped and arrested.
Sgt. Jeni Gruner shares her story of alcoholism, blackout drinking and the stigma about asking for help as a First Responder. She talks about how she overcame her addiction through continued recovery and how she made it through the worst struggles in the aftermath of the devastating consequences of alcohol abuse.
Jeni Gruner has been a police officer for the last 22 years. She is a Sergeant with the San Diego Unified School District Police Department and is currently in charge of the Peer Support and Wellness Program. She began her career at the San Diego County Marshal’s Office and then as a Deputy with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. She speaks at the San Diego Regional Academy to new recruits and also at the POST Management School in the area of substance abuse and officer wellness.

Jeni has two wonderful teenagers who keep her very busy with various sports and activities . Jeni has been in recovery and sober for almost 9 years living life in gratitude one day at a time. Jeni enjoys working within the community of law enforcement as a peer supporter and advocate of wellness for police officers.


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