Activating First Responders Post-Traumatic Growth


Responders First Wellness Program


First Responders are an inclusive group which includes law enforcement, firefighters,  paramedics, medical and military personnel, and rescue disaster volunteers. First Responders are those who respond to critical incidents often with no regard to their own safety such as fires, accidents, shootings, and natural

disasters. The challenges to First Responders have been well documented.  



 A hero is defined as one who shows great courage. Our First Responders prove their heroism every time they say goodbye to their families and deploy to our streets responding to the many needs of their neighbors. Responders First located one hour north of Tampa in Spring Hill, FL, Hernando County will provide services free of cost to these heroes that have been long overdue. 



Responders First will provide behavioral health care services to First Responders and their spouse/significant other who are facing life challenges that stem from emotional difficulties associated with their stressful work experiences.  This includes challenges and difficulties with daily life functioning including but not limited to symptoms of Post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and substance use.The services provided (described below) would be provided during a 5-day rejuvenation program that would be administered at Responders First:

  • Services are provided free-of-charge and are open to First Responders
  •  Services are open to spouses/significant others of First Responders
  •  Research-proven modalities are provided in a respectful, collective, and holistic manner
  •  All activities and results that occur are confidential and have no bearing on current medical diagnoses or disability ratings

Why Responders First


Responders First Wellness Program

Trauma has been defined as an event that has been so extremely upsetting that it at least temporarily overwhelms a person’s internal resources, and results in lasting psychological symptoms. Studies have shown that responding to these critical events may result in 5.9 to 22 % of these First Responders developing psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  PTS symptomology often includes avoidance, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, interrupted sleep, nightmares, flashbacks, reckless behavior, outbursts of anger, alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and substance use among others. 

Proven Therapies

 Responders First will use proven evidence based modalities which have been thoroughly researched with combat Veterans that have been deployed in Vietnam, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) (Kip et al., 2015). Responders First will provide these modalities in a proven week long retreat-based program initiated by the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Program Evaluations conducted by University of South Florida Tampa, FL Dr. Kevin E. Kip, Ph.D., for Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor Foundation and the Veterans Alternative has shown this model to be extremely effective with Veterans with PTSD. The Veterans Alternatives Accelerated Wellness Program (AWP) a retreat-based program resulted in dramatically reducing PTSD 46%; Depression 62%; Anxiety 56%; Perceived Stress 44%; Pain Outcomes 22%; and Sleep Dysfunction 31% (Kip, 2017). 

Accelerated Resolution Therapy

ART is a groundbreaking eye movement technique that is helpful for a variety of issues, such as symtpoms of PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Lack of Purpose, Addiction, and more. ART participants routinely experience positive results in 1-5 sessions.

Integrative Restoration

iRest, a full body relaxation protocol has been shown to effectively alleviate triggers related to combat, insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety and depression through regulation of the body's nervous system.


Yoga, has been increasingly accepted and used as an alternative intervention by Veterans seeking PTSD treatment.  In its different variations such as gentle, and Ashtanga (traditional power practice), yoga has been proven to have mproved stress response, reduced the sensation of chronic pain, improved quality of sleep, created a sense of calm in body and mind, and decreased symptoms associated with PTSD.

Therapeutic Music Group Experience

Drumming reduces tension, anxiety, and stress; helps control chronic pain; boosts the immune system; produces deeper self-awareness by inducing synchronous brain activity as it accesses the entire brain; creates a sense of connectedness with self and others; releases negative feelings, blockages, and emotional trauma; places in in the present moment.

It's Your Turn!


Our Mission

Our Mission

Our Mission

  Responders First goal will be to provide all services at no cost along with lodging accommodations, all meals, and transportation 



Our Mission

Our Mission

Secondary trauma to family members has been proven through research, thus the need to provide services to spouses/significant others 



Our Mission


 Responders First will actively pursue partnerships with other organizations that would provide free air fare to First Responders and their spouse/significant others from across the United States to Tampa International Airport, giving Responders First a nationwide impact. 

Contact Us

Drop us a line!

Communicate with Jesse Diaz-Franco Founder and Executive Director

For more information on how you can participate in or help Responders First


Call: 352-585-0626

Responders First Rejuvenation Program

Hernando County, Florida United States. The Adventure Coast

Hours of Operations Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm



Please Support Us

Please Support Us

Your contribution will enable us to support our employees and continue operations. We are very grateful for your generosity.