Our community is grateful for the first responders who help us during times of danger and tragedy. But who helps the first responders cope with their difficult and often traumatic jobs? Former Petaluma paramedic Sue Farren has founded First Responders Resiliency to answer that need.
Farren’s nonprofit is working on a resiliency center for first responders with programs including physical fitness, peer counseling, mindfulness training and nature spaces as well as a nutritional bar.
“It’s all positive – it’s filling their minds and hearts with things that are supportive to their systems to allow them to reintegrate home into their families with some wellness intact so they’re not just coming in off a 48-hour shift completely burned out and trying to walk in the door and become a husband and a father or a mother and a wife or a child to an elderly parent,” Farren says.
Still in the building stages, the resiliency center will have a staff of 12 to 15 retired first responders. Farren sold her house to fund the project and is continuing fundraising efforts.
“I think once people see the value in helping their loved ones and friends and family with coping with the stress of what they do on a regular basis, this will become the new norm,” she says.