Listen to Spreaker

Tag: tragedy

Ellen Kirschman PhD, How to Love a Firefighter

Ellen Kirschman, known as the Cop Doc, is a clinical psychologist that specializes in treating first responders and has been for doing for years and years and years. She is the author of “I Love a Cop” and the recently released second edition of “I Love a Firefighter”. Ellen talks about the specific mental health issues that Wildland firefighters and their families face. We also talk about the importance of seeing a culturally competent therapist and the reasons why. Ellen is a invaluable resource of knowledge and experience in taking care of first responders and our mental health. She is no nonsense and says, “The stigma is stupid!” Ellen also writes fiction and is a clinician at WCPR.

Where is Your “ROCK BOTTOM” going to be?

Positive Connections Radio:
E-58: Travis Wittaker
Where is Your “ROCK BOTTOM” going to be?
How do you know you’ve hit your rock bottom? Been there before? How many more times do you want to do it your way? What do you do? Listen to my intro and Travis and know there is help available. Confidential help by trusted professionals who “Get Us” and they are there to help point you in the right direction.

Here’s a little bit about Travis Wittaker:
Travis has been sober for over 12 years. He is the father to 3 amazing kids with his beautiful wife of 27 years who he loves spending time with. Travis loves basketball, golf and being in the outdoors during his free time.

Travis has worked in the treatment industry for 8 years from admissions to marketing. In addition to his role as Vice President of Clinical Outreach at True Recovery in collaboration with First Responder-Wellness by Simple Recovery, he is also a National Certified Interventionist. Travis also has a popular Facebook page, Car Talk with Travis, where he and guest shares inspirational messages through video about addiction and Recovery. Travis is also a board member of 10,000 beds, a nonprofit organization who provides scholarships to addicts without the means to pay for treatment.

Contact Travis at:

Former Firefighter Josh Johnson Wandered Lost Until He Asked For Help

The amazing Josh Johnson, former firefighter, shares his story of getting PTSD and the agony of not knowing where to turn to for help. The point came where Josh’s only answer he could find was almost killing himself with alcohol. He went to work to ask for help and ended up getting fired. Josh truly is an inspiration as he went from trying to kill himself to the incredible attitude and viewpoint that he has now. His focus now is passing this message on to others so they don’t end up suffering a lone as he did for so long. Josh articulates his story very well. I have a good feeling we will hear from him again on this show.

Tessa Dunn – Rockstar Wife That Held a First Responder's Family Together

Tessa Dunn is on the show! Tessa is the wife of Tom Dunn, who was on the show a few months ago. She stood by Tom’s side as he worked as a Alaska State Trooper. She raised a couple of kids and took care of the family out in the middle of nowhere. When Tom became a State Trooper little did they know That Tessa would became part of the job and experience her own trauma plus helping Tom deal with his trauma. Her and Tom have started Reset Training and Consulting where they help first responders with stress on the job through training in Resiliency, Engaging and Empowering Communities, Soul Care, Employee Retention and Training. Tess is a positive force to be reckoned with! You can’t help but feel good after listening to Tess talk and share her story.

Conrad Weaver, Producer of the Film, PTSD911

The Firefighter Deconstructed sits down with Conrad Weaver, an award winning filmmaker, producer and president of Conjo studios. Conrad is making a documentary film about us, about what first responders go through on the job and the price we pay for doing what we do. The film i scalled 911PTSD. He is traveling all over the united states recording our stories. His goal of the film is to create awareness and help smash the stigma around mental health for first responders. Near the end of the podcast Conrad and I talk about how he had to change careers and find a new purpose. He talks about how he did this and keeps his eyes on his purpose every day. I found it very inspiring.

Where to find Conrad and film info:
To Donate to the film:

Police Officer To First Responder Clinician: James McLintock

Positive Connections Radio:
E-57: James McLintock LMFT
Police Officer to First Responder Clinician
James always had the passion to be in service to those in need. Early on he became a lifeguard, EMT, and then a Police Officer for the City of Anaheim throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s. In the time post-911 he noticed several of his police teammates coming back from battle and how the negative impacts of war had on his friends. Many were suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, trauma, suicidal thoughts, addictions to pain medications and alcohol abuse.
His coworkers were encouraged to get help and attend counseling sessions, however many would not because they feared that the therapists did not have familiarity with working with First Responders and could not really relate to them.
James decided that he would better serve others by becoming a therapist so he would have more credibility than just earning a degree in counseling. James retired as a police officer and went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Since 2008 James McLintock has been the go-to clinician for First Responders in San Diego, Ca.

The Similarities of a TBI and PTSD, ret CHP Sgt Paula Siddens

Paula Siddens is a retired Sergeant with the California Highway Patrol with 30 years of service. Paula sustained a serious Traumatic Brain Injury while riding her bike down Mt. Diablo. She was lucky to even survive the accident. Paula and I have also been friends for quite some time but it’s been a long time since we have seen each other.. We recently met up at a training session for the support dog training program, First Response K9. We started talking about my PTSD and her Traumatic Brain Injury. We found that so many of our symptoms were the same. Similar family issues and collateral damage also came up. On this episode we talk about Paula’s accident and the similarities of our journeys. This episode helps to demonstrate how PTSD/PTSI is a true physiological brain injury, not just some emotional problem.

Captain Kelly Lucas OCFA

Positive Connections Radio:
Episode-56: Captain Kelly Lucas OCFA
Fire Captain Kelly Lucas has been a firefighter/paramedic for 19 years and currently serves on a truck company for Orange County Fire Authority. Kelly talks about his struggles with alcoholism and how he was able to break free and get sober.
Around the 13th year mark Kelly realized he was carrying around a lot of stress and trauma of the job and his drinking became a problem. Kelly reached out for help and sought therapy, connection with others and a connection with God. He then started his difficult road to recovery.
Kelly is inspirational and gives hope and direction to those suffering from addiction and publicly speaks so others know that it is “ok” to be not “ok”.
Kelly is currently in his second-year master’s program in counseling and plans on being a therapist specializing in working with First Responders.

The 1st, First-Responder: Cassie Sexton, Dispatcher

Positive Connections Radio:
E-55: Cassie Sexton
The 1st First Responder.

Cassie Sexton is a Dispatcher for the City of Newport Beach California and is a strong supporter of Peer Support for all First Responders. Cassie shares her experience, strength, and hope so that others know that it is “ok” to be “not ok”. There is hope for breaking the stigma and that asking for help is a sign on strength.

Assistant Fire Chief Steve Serbic – Undercover Mental Health and His Own Story

The amazing Steve Serbic from the Undercover Mental Health Podcast sit down with me and tells us his story. Steve is a assistant fire chief, key note speaker, Tedx presenter, author and mental health advocate. Steve rose up through the fire service, and is currently working as an Assistant Chief of operations at Surrey Fire Service, Greater Vancouver Metropolitan Area in Canada. He prides himself on being a devoted husband and father of two amazing kids. He survived his battle with depression thanks to the support of his family and friends. That support allowed him to rebuild his life and now he helps others who have decided to fight their anxiety, depression and mental illness. Steve is very open and raw about his own battles with mental illness and travels across North America sharing his story.
You can find Steve at:
Ted Talk:
Undercover Mental Health Podcast:


  • Physical Address::

    9 E Loockerman St, Ste 202
    Dover, DE 19901

  • Mailing Address::

    9 E Loockerman St, Ste 202
    Dover, DE 19901

  • Choose A Date Range


By continuing to browse our website, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy , and you are acknowledging that you have read them and agree by clicking accept.

Yes, I accept!