New Episodes!

FIRST H.E.L.P.

Beyond the 1st Response

 

New Episodes Every Wednesday

 

A podcast that brings first responders, families, and mindset together for serious and humorous conversations on mental health.

Your Hosts

Robyn Mikel, the assistant program director for Red H.E.L.P. and Christy Lister, the Illinois State Reprepresntative for Blue H.E.L.P. have teamed up to share the First H.E.L.P. story.  They are doing this through conversations with our team members, first responders, family members, and corporate partners.  They are working to help listeners build a toolkit of resources.

Christy Lister

Christy Lister

Co-Host

Robyn Mikel

Robyn Mikel

Co-Host

EP 75: The Calling – Greg Podolak

In  today’s Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara talked with Greg Podolak, a blended clinician for first responders at Halfwild Counseling.     The Calling to Help Greg’s story is inspiring and humbling at the same time. Greg came from a family of first...

EP 74: Is This the End?

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara continued conversation with Elizabeth Fiorenza. Is This The End? Elizabeth recalls the day Matty had tried to take his life, and she had decisions to make. Death or divorce. Elizabeth knew Matty needed help...

EP 73: Face to Face to with the Past- Elizabeth Fiorenza

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara talked with Elizabeth Fiorenza, Anaheim Firefighters Association.    The Past Comes Forward   In this episode, Christy and Ciara had hard and raw talks with Elizabeth about how her past trauma...

EP 72: In the Dark You Can Find Your Purpose- Matt Fiorenza

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara talked with Matthew Fiorenza retired City of Anaheim Firefighter about the struggles to overcome PTSD and finding your purpose. Struggles, Resilience, and Purpose During his years at the Anaheim Fighter...

EP 69: The Calling of the Chaplain

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara enjoyed talking to Chaplain Chaz Blackburn, a Nevada chaplain who advocates for First Responders and their family's mental wellness. Being a Chaplain  According to Chaz, being a Chaplain has done more for...

EP 68: Stigma This

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara had a conversation about a quote from a police chief that they read and how that mindset does damage to first responders. Words Can Sting “Our focus is to get our officers back to work where they can put it...

EP 67: So You Want to Volunteer and Give Back

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara thought they would change it to give listeners great ways to get involved in their community and beyond. Giving Back Giving back to your community or something you hold near and dear to your heart can be a...

EP 66: Amy’s Story

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara had the pleasure to speak to Amy Row. The wife of former police officer Vance Row whom we had on the show previously.  The Hard Talks We got to meet Vance and hear his story last week, and today we got to meet...

EP 65: Namaste Your Why- Vance Row

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara had the pleasure to speak to Vance Row, a retired police officer who is now a dispatcher and yoga instructor.  Physical & Mental Injuries  Vance told us his story of his years in policing, injuries on...

EP 64: What is Your Financial Mindset?

EP 64: What is Your Financial Mindset?

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara speak about how your finances can affect your overall mental health.  Finances and Mental Health The stressors of debt and the “control” over finances can burden and weigh you down, while also affecting your...

EP 63: Are you Stepping Over Your Bar?

EP 63: Are you Stepping Over Your Bar?

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara talk about how setting your “bar high” can help you be mentally and physically healthier.  Are you stepping over your bar? Christy and Ciara talked openly about how changing the “height” of your bar can...

EP 62: I Am Recovering Karen!

EP 62: I Am Recovering Karen!

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Ciara talk about the negative mindset and how to overcome Misanthropy.  Misanthrope According to the Webster's Dictionary, Misanthrope is a person who hates people. We may have a lot of hostility going around in...

EP 61: Where The Thankfulness is!

EP 61: Where The Thankfulness is!

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara speak about the challenges of the Holidays in First Responder families. Healthy Family Dynamic In a healthy family dynamic it is understood that the first responder will not be able to be home on the day,...

EP:60 911 I Am Ready To Talk – Nancy Vallee

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy talks with Nancy Vallee, a retired 911 dispatcher of 21 years. Nancy speaks frankly about transitioning from first responder life to retired, new career, and finding the new you! Retirement Nancy started a career as...

EP 59: You Have The Right To Go On Living

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara speak with Captain Dave Betz of the Chelsea Police Department and coping with the loss of his son to suicide.  Police Family  Dave, a Capitan at Chelsea Police Department has served as a police...

EP 58: The Running Change – Sgt. Alonzo Montanya

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara discuss Sgt Alonzo Montanya's dedication to the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office to break the mental health stigma in his department and countrywide. Mental Health Advocate  Alonzo has had his struggles. His...

EP 57: My Story Is My Voice

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara chat with Sara Clow about how her life changed five years ago and what she’s doing now for change. She is a remarkable human who shows such resilience! Her Story We talked with Sara about her story and courage...

EP 56: It’s Not Just the Meatballs

EP 56: It’s Not Just the Meatballs

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara discuss First Responder Suicide Awareness Week and the First Responder children. Grab the meatball and start rolling. #Honorthem The Children We talk about First Responder Awareness often, not only to help...

EP 55: From The Mouth Of A Child

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Ciara talk with Leslie Maginn, daughter of J. Daniel Maginn EOW 7/9/93. We had the hard talks with Leslie about how being a child of a police officer who died by suicide has affected her life and the trickle of...

EP 54: We Are Family

EP 54: We Are Family

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Ciara talk about the family weekend in Dallas Texas.  First H.E.L.P. Family Every year family members who have lost a first responder to suicide are able to attend a weekend of honoring their loved ones. While...

EP 53: Fighting the Fire For Sobriety- Pat Shea

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Ciara talk with Firefighter Pat Shea about his rock bottom and how he has dedicated himself to getting healthy, and how to help others. The Injury Pat, a former Firefighter for Little Rock Arkansas fire...

EP: 52 Hey You Listen to Yourself

EP: 52 Hey You Listen to Yourself

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Ciara talk about how actively listening doesn’t just mean listen to others, but also to yourself.  Christy and Ciara chatted this week about active listening, and how actively listening can help not just you but...

EP 51: Recognize the Good in the Past

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara chat about recognizing the good, in literally just about everything! You can see the good! It is so incredibly healthy and healing in recognizing the good, even in the bad situations. But also recognizing that...

EP 50: Tim Sears – C.A.N.I.

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Ciara talk with a Retired Fire Investigator and Stronger Families Director, Tim Sears. PTSI Tim talked about his struggles with PTSI and how he now helps families and first responders build healthy relationships...

EP 49: When Family Speaks

EP 49: When Family Speaks In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Ciara talk with a family member about the fight to save her family, while trying to get help for her former spouse. Jody  We are using the name Jody, to protect the family as they...

EP 48: Harry Fagel- The Route You Choose

EP 48: Harry Fagel- The Route You Choose

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Ciara talk with retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Captain Harry Fagel. The Poet Retired LVMPD Captain They spoke with Harry about his trauma’s and how he has handled them through the years. How he has written...

EP 47: Miscommunication

EP 47: Miscommunication

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Ciara talk about the effects of miscommunication; Part 2 of Mental Wellness Wear Down. Break Down They broke down the basis of miscommunication and how it can not just affect your mental health but your life...

EP 46: Close the Mental Tabs

EP 46: Close the Mental Tabs

This week Christy and Ciara talk about compassion fatigue in a first responder homes; and ways we can begin to reenergize. Compassion Fatigue/ Caregiver Burn-out At some point in our lifetime, everyone will struggle with Compassion Fatigue/Caregiver Burnout. What...

EP 44: Challenge Accepted

EP 44: Challenge Accepted

This week Christy and Ciara talked about the mental wellness of the family, including children and friends of 1st Responder. Ending Mental Health Awareness month, they touched on all the stressors of everyday life and how even children can be affected by this....

EP 43: Thank You For Your Service

EP 43: Thank You For Your Service

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara the meaning of Memorial Day. Never Forget We should never forget why we celebrate this holiday, thank you to all our brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country! Decoration Day...

EP 42: Christy and Ciara – Communication Elephant

EP 42: Christy and Ciara – Communication Elephant

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara discuss communication after suicide and the elephant it causes in relationships. Welcome Aboard Ciara Madrid, one of our many volunteers, has now taken the role of co-host on Beyond the 1st Response. I am...

EP 41: Doug Lowe – Fueling Firefighters

EP 41: Doug Lowe – Fueling Firefighters

EP 41: Doug Lowe - Fueling Firefighters In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara talk with Doug Lowe founder of EMMP about his new venture to fuel Firefighters while they fight forest fires in the Pacific Northeast. For The Love of Cooking Doug has...

EP 40 Dwayne English – From Cop to Couch

EP 40 Dwayne English – From Cop to Couch

EP 40: Dwayne English - From Cop to Couch In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy talks with Sgt. Dwayne English of Joliet Police Department IL, about how being a cop has made him a better counselor. Dream Cop Since the age of six, Dwayne had wanted to become...

EP 39: Chris Marella- Making Healthy Easy; A Little Bit at a Time

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy talks with Chris about starting 4th Shift Fitness in 2017 with the goal of bringing these lessons directly to the front lines.  Go to 4th Shift Fitness to see how to get in touch and set up a seminar, training...

EP 38: Valerie Groth – Stellate Ganglion Block Part 2

EP 38: Valerie Groth – Stellate Ganglion Block Part 2

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Steve talk with Valerie Groth, Director of Partnerships at Stella Center. Part 2 of the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) SGB- What is different now Christy decided to have the SGB after struggling with PTSD for over 30...

EP 37: Wendy Hummell – Breathe, life is Uncomfortable

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy talks with Wendy Hummel Podcast Host of  Guns and Yoga. Wendy, a wellness coordinator for Sedgwick County Sheriff Department in Kansas, brings her first responder yoga to the wellness program she has built. Grab...

EP 36: Jillian Bass – Find the Positive

In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy talks with Jillian Bass, a radio host for Star 96.7 Fm. Jillian experienced an event that opened her up to understand that mental wellness is a top priority and has created a platform on her midday show for all her...

EP 35: Becca Willey – While You Were Away

EP 35: Becca Willey – While You Were Away

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy talks with Becca Willey, an army wife, mother of three, business owner of Radon Express, and board member of Naperville Salute, and organizations, that celebrate Veterans and First Responses raising money to give...

EP 34: I’m good! What does that mean to you? – Jennifer Anderson

EP 34: I’m good! What does that mean to you? – Jennifer Anderson

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy talks with Jennifer Anderson of First Responder Coaching candidly about her WHY in understanding the need for coaching as an option for preparing for what the job does to you and your family. How We Met Jennifer and...

EP 33: It’s Ok to Feel Your Feelings – Jason Patton

EP 33: It’s Ok to Feel Your Feelings – Jason Patton

In this episode of Beyond the First Response, Christy and Robyn talk with Firefighter Jason Patton of Fire Department Chronicles and Fire Department Coffee. Jason 17 year veteran FF Jason Patton uses his personal struggles with mental health as motivation for his...

EP 32: Molly Jones & Hannah Elmore – Living in the In-Between

EP 32: Molly Jones & Hannah Elmore – Living in the In-Between

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk with Molly Jones; Clinical Educations Coordinator, and Hannah Elmore, MSW of Advanced Recovery Systems (ASR) on the recovery programs for first responders. IAFF Center of Excellence ASR, in partnership...

EP 31: Valerie Groth and Jess Anderson – SGB and Me #BT1R

EP 31: Valerie Groth and Jess Anderson – SGB and Me #BT1R

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk to Valerie Groth, MSW, MA Director of Partnerships at Stella Center and Alameda County Fire Department Captain Jess Anderson about Stellate Ganglion Block injections. SGB SGB is an injection of local...

EP 30: Dr. Calvin Paries – The Truth About EAP #BT1R

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk to Calvin Paries, DR, PH, LMFT, CEAP, who oversees a Profile EAP for Centura Health. The Myth About EAP "Why would you call the EAP? Now HR is going to know that you are struggling." This is often a...

EP 29: Robert Swiderski – 22 Districts 49 Hours #BT1R

EP 29: Robert Swiderski – 22 Districts 49 Hours #BT1R

EP 29: Robert Swiderski- 22 Districts 48 hours #BT1R In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk to Robert Swiderski. The son of a Chicago Police officer who saw the effects of living in a first responder home, he started Running for Blue Lives...

EP 28: Mike Marotta – San Antonio Public Safety Shift #BT1R

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy talks with Mike Marotta, the First H.E.L.P. Training Coordinator. Mike is a former San Antonio Police Officer.  20 Months 8 Suicides After six officers died by suicide in the past six months, with eight officers...

EP 27: Danny McGuire – Built to Serve #BT1R

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk to retired Chicago police Sgt Danny McGuire Jr. Now a professor at Calumet College and intern therapist at Augustine Wellness Center, he hosts his own podcast, Everyday Warriors. Support Danny wants to...

EP 26: Debbie Green – Quiet No More #BT1R

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response Christy and Robyn talk to Debbie Green, a retired Public Safety Dispatcher 2 who wants to let everyone know the time has come to not stay quiet about mental health. The Headset Debbie admits that she would often picture the...

EP 25: Tracy Vitalo-Harwell – Shift That Space #BT1R

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk to Tracy Vitalo-Harwell CPH-T, from Inspired Change Hypnosis and Coaching about how hypnosis can “shift that space” and how it helps first responders. What Happened To You When You Were A Child? It...

EP 24: Ashlee Gethner – My Dad Is A First Responder #BT1R

EP 24: Ashlee Gethner – My Dad Is A First Responder #BT1R

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk with Ashlee Gethner LCSW and first responder daughter who has her own private practice, Calming Waves Therapy. First, I am a First Responder Daughter Ashlee is currently working on her doctrine,...

EP 23: Jim Marshall – Just Roll With It #BT1R

In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk with Jim Marshall, CEO of 911 Training Institute.  Just Jump Right In Jim Marshall has a fantastic insight into what is happening inside our heads. With a Masters in Psychology and years of counseling...

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