Today is PTSD Awareness Day

Today is PTSD Awareness Day 2019.  Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event or events.

Omaha Firefighter Donnie Dodge was reading an article about PTSD in early 2019 expecting to take away a piece of knowledge to help his friends. But here is what Donny says he found. “I found just the opposite. What I found was an article that was all about me. I had every one of the signs. That sparked my realization that I needed professional assistance. I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I asked for help. I admitted that I could not fix what was wrong with me without help.

The First Responders Foundation FRST Team (First Responders Support Team) supports the emotional and mental well-being of First Responders and their families.  FRST Programs are available for ALL First Responders (paid and volunteer) and all services are confidential.

If you would like to speak to a member of the FRST Team or would like more information regarding FRST, contact the team at FRST@firstrespondersomaha.org, call 402-218-1218, or visit FRST.

It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help, it’s a sign of strength.  To read more about Donnie’s story click here


Guns N Hoses! June 28, 2019

Guns N Hoses – Another red vs blue competition!

Mark your calendars for the June 28th Salute to First Responders Night and Whelen, Fire, Safety, and Police Night.

During intermission of the NASCAR Whelen Racing Series there will be two feature heats each with 2 police officers and 2 firefighters. The top 4 from those heats will race for the championship.

Racing for the Red Team:
Brad Lucas from the Omaha Fire Department
Matt Meyer from the Omaha Fire Department
Dustin Wyman for the Omaha Fire Department
Pat Wolf from the Omaha Fire Depaartment
The Captain of the Red Team in First Responders Foundation Vice President Mary Rosenthal.

Racing for the Blue Team:
Larry Schwartz from the Bellevue Police Department
Adam Smith from the Red Oak, IA Police Department
Dave Volenec from the Omaha Police Department
Matt Baughman from the Omaha Police Department and Pilot for Able 1
The Captain of the Blue Team is Jim Cahill Director of Security at NE Furniture Mart.

Who will make it to the finish line first!  Come out and cheer on your TEAM!

There will be a reverse tribute lap before the race honoring all fallen first responders. Law enforcement and fire vehicles will take part in this lap. The OPD helicopter will also be overhead depending on weather and their availability. The National Anthem will be sung by David Volenec, one of the racers. At the end of the tribute lap and the national anthem, the OPD helicopter will do a flyover, stop, and bow to the crowd. The helicopter is scheduled to come back again during the races at intermission.

This event is a fundraiser for First Responders foundation. The money raised will go to the FRST Program (First Responders Foundation – First Responders Support Team) in honor of Jeremy Knott, OFD. 

FRF will have merchandise for sale and other fun ways to support the foundation.  Donations and purchases will help the First Responders Foundation continue to offer the programs and services that help first responders and their families in the metro area.

FREE Tickets for all First Responders.  Contact Mary Rosenthal at mary@firstrespondersomaha.org.  Tickets must be obtained prior to the event.

To purchase tickets visit https:http://www.i-80speedway.com/i80/events/nascar-weekly-points-night-7/

The racing will start at 7:10pm but come early to see the police and fire practice rounds and other fun activities prior to the race!


Thank you Taco John’s!

First Responders Foundation Receives $7,681 from Taco John’s!

Taco John’s has a history of supporting first responders and today they came through in a big way! First Responders Foundation was the recipient of a check for $7,681.

Bremer Restaurant Management which owns ten Taco John’s in the metro area, Columbus, Fremont, and Council Bluffs, made the donation at Omaha Fire Station 78. Over the last two years the Bremer’s have been collecting money on behalf of the First Responders Foundation. Every day throughout the year at each Taco John’s location there is a money box where customers can drop in lose change or more to support the foundation.
During the holidays customers had the opportunity to donate $1 to the foundation and add their name to a paper wreath that would be hung on the wall. Debbie and Jeff Bremer have been overwhelmed by the generosity of customers in support of first responders.

“First Responders are always there when we need them in tragic situations, and it is very humbling to give back to them,” commented Debbie. The check presentation was made at Fire Station 78 where Debbie’s brother in law, Jeff Rockwell, is a firefighter. It is a family affair as Jeff’s wife, Lori, works for Bremer Restaurant Management. The whole family holds first responders near and dear to their hearts and are so appreciative of what they mean to the community.

For the last five years Debbie has been on the Board of Directors of the First Responders foundation. She feels this is a way she can give back to the community and show her support of first responders. This is what led the company to begin collecting money for the foundation.

Al Batschelet, President and CEO of FRF, and Jim Hanson, FRF Board Chairman, accepted the check on behalf of the foundation. Al said, “The foundation is really proud to support our first responders. They are the ones that we call on, on our worst day. There are there for you. They are people of courage and commitment that are an integral part of our community, and we are proud to support them and help them in their mission.”

The donation was very timely as the foundation is expanding the FRST (First Responders Support Team) Program. The FRST Program which supports both the mental and physical wellbeing of the first responder is the number one prior of the foundation. This donation will go a long way in helping to expand the FRST Program, which is available for all police and fire (paid and volunteer) in the metro area.

“First Responders give everyday, and their families give everyday too in the background, and sometimes that might go unnoticed. We want to be there to support them in any way possible,” said Bremer.

The Bremer’s want to thank Taco John’s customers for making this day possible.


10th Annual Appreciation Lunches

On June 6th, the First Responders Foundation celebrated the 10th year of providing Appreciation Lunches to first responders. Once a year the First Responders Foundation partners with local business’ to provide lunches for first responders in the metro area. This is a small way that the foundation can thank and acknowledge first responders for the dedication and support they show the community 365 days a year.

This year we were proud to partner with Chick-fil-A of Greater Omaha who provided a wrap, bag of chips, and a cookie for law enforcement officers. Over 600 meals were provided. Omaha Steaks provided steak for the firefighters to cook for themselves at the fire stations. Water was provided by Nebraska Furniture Mart who also helped deliver the meals. A donation was made to help with other costs by C&A Industries.

Volunteers helped pack and deliver the meals. There were more volunteers than could be accommodated as people are more than happy to show appreciation to our local first responders and heroes. One volunteer commented how wonderful it was to see the smiles on the first responders faces when the meals are delivered and how thankful they are to be appreciated.

The food was delivered to Omaha Police and Fire Stations, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Douglas County 911 Center. Each year the First Responders Foundation provides more meals than the year before, and expands the reach and the thanks, farther into the community.

School children decorated the lunch bags from Ezra, Standing Bear, Picotte, Joslyn, and Sunny Slope Elementary Schools. The bags were elaborate and heartfelt and were very meaningful to the first responders.

It is a wonderful day for the first responders and the community. We are fortunate in the metro area to have such dedicated men and women who are willing to serve and protect our citizens.  It is a great way for the First Responders Foundation to continue the mission to serve and honor all our First Responders and their families, build appreciation and respect for their work and enhance public safety.


Thank You For Supporting First Responders Foundation during Omaha Gives! 2019

First Responders Foundation would like to thank everyone who supported the foundation during Omaha Gives 2019 yesterday! First Responders Foundation received $3515 in gifts. That will go a long way in supporting the many programs for metro area first responders. YOUR DONATION WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Special thanks to Omaha Community Foundation & American National Bank for sponsoring the day. Click here for more information on Omaha Gives.


First Responders Spouse Support Session

First Responders Support Team (FRST) offers Mental Health and Wellbeing support to first responderes and their families. One of the programs offered free by the professionals of FRST is the First Responders Spouse Support Session. On June 3rd, from 6:30-8pm, significant others and spouses, are invited to meet together to discuss ways to live a more meaningful life with their first responder. Spouse sessions provide an opportunity to care for yourself and be in a safe environment to address challenges that arise.  This session is for an adult support person of a First Responder.

June 3, 2019 from 6:30PM – 8PM at the Southwest Police Precinct. 5111 S 135th St.  To sign up or for more information, contact FRST@firstrespondersomaha.org or to register click on RSVP.

 

 

 

 


Guns N Hoses Fighter Weigh-In 2019

We won’t give you a Blow-By-Blow description of the Fighter Weigh-In last Friday night, but let’s just say we didn’t Pull Any Punches! It was an All Out Fantastic Evening at the Thunderhead Brewing Taproom! It was a great time mingling with the Guns & Hoses fighters. The Dire Lion Grille & Chippy food truck provided delicious fish or chicken and chips, and we had festive entertainment from the Polka Police.  The fighters were introduced, weighed, shook hands, and how they are ready for the Main Event – Guns N Hoses 2019 THIS Friday April, 26th!

Big thanks to Jay Miralles, one of our event producers, for bringing his podcast Friday night. Check it out and hear about the event from several different fighters and other event personnel.  The Connection #13 with Jay Miralles: Guns and Hoses Boxing Challenge http://bit.ly/2XFb5Jf

For Tickets http://bit.ly/GunsNHoses19 More information https://www.facebook.com/omahagunsandhoses/


First Responders Honored at the Spring Husker Red White Game

The First Responders Foundation was privileged to be part of a group of first responders and community volunteers who were recognized at the Nebraska Spring Football Game. FRF CEO Al Batschelet and VP Mary Rosenthal along with Omaha Police Deputy Chief Ken Kanger and Omaha Fire Department Chief Dan Olsen were there representing first responders in the Omaha metro area. More than 250 people, many of whom helped during the recent and tragic flooding, walked out of the Nebraska Tunnel and formed an extended tunnel for the Nebraska players. Several videos were played while the first responders entered the field. What a special moment. What a special community dedicated to caring for one another. This is the community we are so proud to serve.  Being there for the Huskers to exit the tunnel (click “Huskers” for video!) was exciting too!  We thank the University of NE-Lincoln for their support.


Awards of Excellence Reception 2019

The Awards of Excellence recipients received their $500 Scholarships at a reception on April 11th at Champions Run. The recipients, who are children of first responders in the metro area,  demonstrated commitment to community and volunteerism, have good character and have balanced achievements in their lives.  The First Responders Foundation was proud of honor the students and their families.

Awards of Excellence Scholarships were made possible thanks to the following donors who fully-funded one or more of the awards: Farmers Insurance,  Jim Killips, Carol Stolp, Mary Rosenthal, Ray Somberg, Terry Headley, Tom Holland, Keith Basham, Susan Wier, Chuck Sederstrom, Bob Nelson, Al & Teri Batschelet.

The Awards of Excellence Reception was supported by Nelson Murphy Insurance & Investments, and Farmers Insurance.

Click here for more information, names of the winners, and pictures from the Awards of Excellence Reception.


Alley the Arson Dog in the News