First Responder Wellness and Resiliency

Jeremy is a police sergeant for the Des Moines Iowa Police Department. He has served as a patrol officer, arson and financial crime investigations, hostage/crisis negotiator, communications supervisor, patrol sergeant, traffic crash fatality investigations, and now assigned to the Family Conflict Section that includes domestic assaults, sex abuse, child abuse, and child death cases. He also retired after 20 years in the fire service as a part-time fire lieutenant supervising an engine company, medic-squad, and directing the fire training academy.

Jeremy designed, created, and managed the first-in-the-state public safety Peer Support Program which is used as a model for other agencies around the country. He specializes in providing training and critical incident response around the state. In 2016, Jeremy managed a comprehensive strategic plan for the loss of three Des Moines Police Officers in 2016 including crisis management, logistics, and department wellness.

Jeremy expanded his innovative peer support model and created the Peer Support Foundation which trains first responders throughout the Midwest. He currently serves as the executive director and president of the foundation.

Jeremy has presented to numerous organizations and conferences about peer support, employee wellness, PTSD, suicide awareness, and other topics. Some of these presentations include the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Law Enforcement League, Iowa Association of Chiefs of Police, Iowa Teamsters Law Enforcement, Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association, Impact Iowa, Iowa Association of Women Police, Iowa Corrections Association, Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, Des Moines Area Community College, and numerous public safety agencies throughout the Midwest.

Jeremy holds a Master’s of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management Administration. He is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. Jeremy is a certified FBI Law Enforcement Instructor and serves as an adjunct instructor in Criminal Justice at the Des Moines Area Community College. He is also an instructor for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and holds a certificate in Critical Incident Stress Management from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

This training program discusses the psychology of first responders throughout their careers. It discusses how first responders are affected by hypervigilance both short and long-term. The training discusses the peer support concept and how a peer support can be helpful to first responders. The training will discuss stress management techniques and resources for first responders.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the psychology of the first responder.
  2. Understand how hypervigilance can affect the first responder.
  3. Discuss the three “R”’s of combating stress.
  4. Know how peer support and employee wellness can benefit individual employees.
  5. Learn stress management techniques and resources available.