IF YOU ARE SUFFERING A BEHAVIORAL HEALTH COUNSELING EMERGENCY PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY
Signed in as:
IF YOU ARE SUFFERING A BEHAVIORAL HEALTH COUNSELING EMERGENCY PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY
Signed in as:
Welcome Debra Unger, MA, First Responder Trauma Counselors' 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 tremendous 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 a 2022 FRTC National Peer Support Academy graduate.
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.
While her medical center experience is diverse, including stand-alone, community owned facilities, as well as large multi-facility organizations, Karen has always worked within integrated delivery systems.
Karen has been a part of the Weld/Larimer Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), first joining the steering committee in 2004. She has been a CIT trainer since the establishment of the first Weld/Larimer class, a coalition which later expanded to include Boulder County. She became a mental health consultant for the Larimer County Regional SWAT Team in 2013, completing the FBI Negotiations Course in September of that year. Karen also responds to crisis negotiation calls in Boulder County through the Longs Peak Crisis Negotiators.
Karen has instructed on identifying and de-escalating psychiatric crises for Colorado State University law enforcement personnel, as well as for the Ranger Excellence School. She has studied forensic psychology under Roy Hazelwood, Reid Meloy, Kris Mohandie, Phillip Resnick and John Douglas.
We are excited to have Karen join our team of culturally competent clinicians serving our First Responders and their families, as well as interfacing with medical/behavioral health clinicians, facilities (inpatient and outpatient) and various departments to coordinate the logistics of their specific care needs.
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 FRTC’s TRIBE.
Welcome to Jovanna Brunner MPH, First Responder Trauma Counselors’ Research and Development Manager. Jovanna 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 Master's 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 - she's the daughter of a firefighter and has several other first responders within her immediate family - Jovanna has a heart to understand and serve the needs of the First Responder community.
Jovanna is a certified QPR trainer, who's mission is to save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training alongside FRTC’s licensed clinicians. She loves to facilitate focus groups for vetted programs and processes within our member agencies. As FRTC's Research and Development Manager, Jovanna will provide data driven educational offerings to create the highest efficacy of training available, ensuring 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, or practicing yoga. First Responder Trauma Counselors is proud to provide all of our member agencies with this extremely “Culturally Aware” professional.
Welcome Spencer Rice, First Responder Trauma Counselors’ Operations Services Technician.
Spencer Rice comes to First Responder Trauma Counselors with over 20 years of experience as a First Responder. Spencer’s enjoyment of emergency services started at a young age while growing up in Durango, Colorado. Due to the topography of the town and their home’s location on a bluff west of town, any time there was a call they could hear the sirens, run to the edge of their lot and watch the emergency vehicles respond. They were also directly in the flight path for the MedEvac helicopters coming from New Mexico to the local hospital.
Spring forward to 2001. While attending CSU, Spencer became a volunteer for a large northern Colorado fire department. The rest is history. Spencer has been employed by both third party and county paramedic services, and has worked as a firefighter for two larger departments. As a firefighter, Spencer has risen through the ranks, eventually attaining the rank of Battalion Chief. Right about this time, Spencer was diagnosed with PTSD(I) and other diagnoses. This makes Spencer one of the more unique members of the FRTC tribe in that, as a First Responder, he has gone down that dark path, to include a 50-day stay at a First Responder-focused facility.
Through tremendous support from his family, First Responder Trauma Counselors, and close friends, Spencer returned to form and is once again working the streets as a Captain.
Spencer’s family includes his amazing wife, Pam, who is approaching her 30th year in emergency services, his daughter, Devon, and son, Griffin. Oh, and their house cow (large dog) named Steve.
Spencer is FRTC National Peer Support Academy trained and looks forward to working behind the scenes and assisting with FRTC’s member agencies.
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.