By Sarah Walsh
At the start of summer, KAI Partners, Inc. had the opportunity to team up with the First Responder Support Network (FRSN) for the first annual Fight 4 Life event at CrossFit Centurion in Rancho Cordova, California.
FRSN is a California-based non-profit 501.c.3 organization whose mission is to provide educational treatment programs to promote recovery from stress and critical incidents experienced by First Responders and their families. FRSN’s mission is primarily accomplished through the West Coast Posttrauma Retreat (WCPR) and the Significant Others and Spouse (SOS) programs, both of which are 6-day residential treatment programs.
We caught up with FRSN Board of Directions President and Volunteer Lead Clinician Stephanie Cress to share what FRSN is all about.
It was in 1999 that the first iteration of FRSN came be, as a group of clinicians, chaplains, and first responder peers got together to address the need for a west coast-based program to help law enforcement officers suffering from posttraumatic stress.
This group developed the West Coast Posttrauma Retreat (WCPR). The first “retreat” was held in 2001. According to Ms. Cress, after the first retreat, “It became apparent that the significant others and spouses of the treated first responders had also been significantly affected by the experiences of their significant others and spouses.” Seeking to fill this need, Significant Others and Spouses (SOS) was created.
Soon after, the organization changed its name to encompass both WCPR and SOS. The umbrella non-profit organization is now what we know today as the First Responder Support Network. Along with Fire, Police, and Sheriff clients, other FRSN clients include EMS paramedics, Emergency Room and Flight Registered Nurses, and the California Department of Corrections.
While based in Northern California, FRSN treats first responders and significant others and spouses from around the country. Law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and paramedics from Canada, Puerto Rico, and England have also attended WCPR.
Approximately 70% of funds raised return directly to FRSN to help them achieve their core work. The nearly $19,000 raised at the Fight 4 Life event will help those first responders who need financial assistance to attend WRCR. And, as Ms. Cress says, “There is a saying that ‘an Army marches on its stomach’ and this is true of WRCR.” As a result, the donations from Fight 4 Life will also help the group continue their much-needed kitchen improvements, as well as address other capital expenses.
KAI Partners, Inc. is proud to partner with an organization that helps first responders—the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to ensure our safety—as well as their families, who also bear a huge burden. Special thanks to our fellow Fight 4 Life event sponsors, including: Paul Goyette & Associates, Primal Quest Expedition, Public Safety Survivor Benefits, Joey Hand Racing Team, PB Electric, Inc., Tommy Lane Painting & Construction, Van Vleck Ranch, Qalo, Fit Aid, Progenex, Xendurance, Gatorz, BlenderBottle, Project X, Max Nutrition Citrus Heights, Total Nutrition (Sacramento), The Vitamin Shoppe (Folsom), Living OneLove, Trader Joe’s (Fair Oaks), Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSA), California Academy of Baseball, Greg Padilla Bail Bonds, Felipe’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Stealth Gear USA, Hair by Amber Phillips, Michael Torres Photography, Massage by Michelle Galuszka, Barbara Gardner, Home Depot (Folsom), Sports Authority (Folsom; now Dick’s Sporting Goods), Folsom City Ink, The Moose Lodge of Rancho Cordova, Tammy Baarts, The Bowman Family, Franklin Templeton, Caitlin Snow, Shawna Biava, and iFit Golf. More photos of the event can be found here.
If you’d like to get involved with the First Responder Support Network, or if you know someone who could benefit from one of their programs, visit www.frsn.org.