Charles Town, WV | 21-27 July, 2022

First H.E.L.P. in partnership with FirstNet built with AT&T brought together ten strangers from around the country.  The reason: first responder mental health.  The result: Comradery/ Education/ Networking/ Acceptance.

Public safety professionals from Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Indiana, Texas, Massachusetts, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida Washington, Missouri and Illinois… from Emergency dispatchers to Law Enforcement Officers to Fire Fighters from the local, state and federal levels met as strangers and departed as a cohesive family built on a network of trust and understanding.


With focus on the 3Ps (Performance/ Persistence/ Prevention) and an in-depth practice of First H.E.L.P.’s R.A.N.G.E. of Resilience, attendees accumulated over 50hrs of hands on education in a controlled environment.  This 50+hrs includes an abundance of individual focus between staff and attendees as well as peer to peer time. There’s no better place to block out the noise and focus on what’s important than at a rural country retreat.

Alternative Stress Therapy

In addition to our standard program, we were fortunate to have @Woodcrafters partner with us during our Alternate Stress/ Anxiety Relief program.  Thanks to our instructor Lonnie, attendees were able to learn wood carving (Worry Birds) and chip carving.  The use of alternative stress relief methods like wood carving, leatherwork, metalsmithing, painting, etc give attendees simple and cost effective avenues to decompress from the chaos of their chosen professions.

Movement and Mindfulness

Dr. Theresa Larson and Navy Seal Commander (Ret.) Jon Macaskill from Movement-Rx spent one day with attendees where they focused on movement and mindfulness. Participants also receive an invitation to complete the 21-day Mindfulness Challenge.

Offsite Trip

Included in our training plan is an offsite trip where after several days of isolation, we travelled into Harper Ferry.  A day hike in the AM and exploring the historic town in the afternoon was good for the soul.  Our offsite day isn’t all for fun though, attendees had to test out their incorporation of R.A.N.G.E. as they moved amongst the hustle and bustle outside of our Retreats quiet walls.

A Fond Farewell

Our week together culminated with our “Devils and Demons” fire. Sounds scarier than it really is, but this event is the perfect culmination/ release for our attendees. Fire… it is the comfort of the flame, the comradery of those you share the warmth with and the silence in between each conversation that takes a simple thing like “Caveman TV” and elevates it into a night to remember.