IF YOU ARE SUFFERING A BEHAVIORAL HEALTH COUNSELING EMERGENCY PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY
Welcome to Debra Unger, MA, First Responder Trauma Counselor’s Regional Administrator. Debra has over 15 years of experience providing mental and behavioral health support to clients of all ages in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings in northern Colorado. Additionally, she has provided executive administrative support in various industries in both the public and private sectors.
Although Debra has not worked as a first responder herself, she has enormous respect and appreciation for the critical work emergency service providers perform. Her personal family history and early experience of loss have given her deep insight into the enduring effect of trauma and its impact on one’s quality of life and relationships. Debra understands the importance and efficacy of Peer Support, and is deeply committed to FRTC’s mission to provide specialized mental and behavioral health support and counseling to all First Responders and their families in need. Debra is an FRTC National Peer Support Academy Graduate in 2022.
Debra received her Master of Arts in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University, and her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and anthropology from the University of Virginia. In her spare time, Debra enjoys swimming, hiking, biking, gardening, knitting and traveling abroad. First Responder Trauma Counselors is excited to add Debra as another “Culturally Aware” member of the tribe.
Welcome Faith Yunger-Manzo, NREMTP, ACLS, PHTLS, PALS.
Having grown up with a First Responder family, her future was set on being part of this group of brave women and men. She’s the daughter of a 20+ year law enforcement officer and has multiple firefighters in her family, to include her husband. She remembers experiencing ride alongs with her father and other First Responders and noticing the effect the calls had on her family and friends. The excitement and the feeling of "family" in most First Responders, be it Law Enforcement, Fire, Emergency Department staff or EMS, Faith was determined to be involved.
When old enough Faith took her first EMT class and began a journey in assisting others who are unable to care for themselves for almost 10 years. Faith found herself working full time with an Ambulance District in northern Colorado, at which point she eventually looked towards a Firefighter with Wellington Fire Protection District and is currently a Paramedic with a large Colorado Hospital Based, Emergency Ambulance Service.
Faith has attended the 40 hour National Peer Support Academy and functioned on multiple peer support teams under FRTC. Faith is also an emergency medical educator with a Northern Colorado College, First Responder Trauma Counselors’ is excited to add Faith as another “Culturally Competent” member of the FRTC’s TRIBE.
Welcome to Jovanna Brunner MPH, First Responder Trauma Counselor’s, Research and Development Manager, who is a Colorado native who has had a passion for prevention from a young age. This passion first emerged through interest in nutrition and exercise and Jovanna slowly began to build her expertise as a fitness instructor, holding certifications in Yoga, Barre, Aquatics, and Personal Training. Jovanna received her Masters of Public Health, with a concentration in Community Health Education from the Colorado School of Public Health. Having been raised in a First Responder Family, and daughter of a firefighter and several other first responders within her immediate family, Jovanna has a heart to understand and serve the needs of the First Responder community.
Jovanna as a certified QPR trainer she is on a mission to save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training alongside, FRTC’s Licensed Clinicians. Through her Research and Program Development, Masters of Public Health Education, she loves to facilitate focus groups to vetted programs and processes within our FRTC Member agencies. Jovanna will be providing FRTC’s “Data Driven”, educational offerings to create the highest efficacy of training available. Assuring that our member Peer Support Teams, are the best trained in the industry.
Jovanna is a wife and a mom of two. Outside of work you can find her spending time with family out in the sun, crocheting, reading, doing yoga. First Responder Trauma Counselors is proud to provide all of FRTC’s Member agencies with this extremely “Culturally Aware”, professional to our FRTC Systems.
Don Patterson has over 20 years of experience in Communications, IT and Security. As a Communications/Security Engineer he has supported multiple government agencies and corporate level communications and secure network environments. 14 years of his communications/security career were devoted as the Founder and CEO of Simply Networking, Inc. His company was responsible for the communications and security needs for over 150 clients nationwide. Recently he managed and maintained the cellular broadband deployable network for the 2020 Cameron Peak Wildland Fire, Colorado’s largest wildland fire. Don has given communications presentations to FEMA (Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Work Groups). As well as FirstNet Authority and the Colorado Public Safety Communications Sub Committee for which he is also a member.
Don has also been a member of the fire service for over 18 years. He has earned qualifications and experience in over 30 active certifications spanning Structural Fire, Wildland, Special Operations Team disciplines, Fire Investigations and First Responder Peer Support. During that time, he has served as a Lieutenant and Dive Rescue Team Coordinator/Instructor for a Colorado Mountain Town Fire Agency, as well as multiple wildland incidents in Northern Colorado and across the nation.
Don is currently a Firefighter with a Northern Colorado Front Range Fire Agency, as such, he is a member of the Wildland Team, SOT, Fire Investigator, Peer Support Member, Communications Specialist and Dive Rescue Team Coordinator. In his spare time, he is a Fire Science Instructor at Aims Community College where he teaches multiple classes in their Fire Science Programs.
Don is a valued member of First Responder Trauma Counselors as a graduate of the National Peer Support Academy and assists FRTC OPS Staff, in developing systems wide, IT based, security protocols for our ARMOR Alert systems and interfaces with our medical/behavioral health deployment teams. Also creating secure integration pathways with FRTC’s Member Regional Support Teams; encrypted communication systems.
At the Law Offices of Behler, Weesner & McElroy LLC, the team of attorneys work collaboratively and compassionately to achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients.
As former Criminal Justice Prosecutors with combined experience of over 24 years, they have not only worked with numerous First Responders, as well as family members and close friends who are First Responders, they have a deep and clear understanding of the emotional toll the First Response career takes on all who serve. They clearly understand and empathize with their clients, because they have experienced those same feelings themselves in prosecuting cases. They offer "Cultural Competency", when working with this population group.
They are excited to work with First Responder Trauma Counselors and look forward to helping individuals and families confronted with issues related to family law, estate planning, business and civil law, as well as criminal defense.