SPONSORED BY:

MARCH 18-19, 2024

HILTON CHICAGO OAK BROOK HILLS RESORT

3500 MIDWEST ROAD | OAK BROOK, IL

 

BUILDING RESILIENCE FOR FIRST RESPONDERS TO EXCEL EACH AND EVERY DAY

Register today for this annual wellness conference equipping first responders with education, tangible tools, and connections to implement stronger wellness messages and programs personally and in their agencies. The Frontline Convention agenda includes keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities with fellow first responders and a resource network of select providers. Topics to be covered include but are not limited to resilience development, wellness (physical, emotional, mental, financial, relational, and more), peer support, treatment, and department programming and culture.

If you have questions related to Frontline Convention, please contact Project Manager,  Kaira Zaremba (kzaremba@100clubil.org).

 

Registration Rates:

$150 for 2023 attendees from June 1-30, 2023

$175 standard registration starting July 1, 2023

$150 for groups of 5+ or more*

*If you are in need of group rate registration, please contact Kaira Zaremba (kzaremba@100clubil.org).

 

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

JASON SCHECHTERLE

Retired Phoenix Police Officer

Growing up, Jason had one dream – to serve as a Phoenix Police Officer.  Inspired by his brother and the tragic loss of a local law enforcement hero, Jason worked persistently towards his dream. After serving four years in the Air Force, at the age 26, Jason achieved his goal to work on the streets of Phoenix as a rookie police officer.  Then, only 14 months into what was supposed to be a life-long career, Jason’s life took an unexpected, dramatic and, at the time, tragic turn.

On the night of March 26th, 2001, a taxi cab crashed into the rear of Jason’s patrol car.  Upon impact, Jason’s car burst into flames, trapping him inside with temperatures reaching over 700 degrees.

Through a series of miraculous and fateful circumstances, Jason survived the crash and ensuing physical and emotional catastrophe.  He suffered severe burns to over 40% of his body which drastically altered his appearance. He has undergone more than 50 surgeries just to have the ability to accomplish simple daily tasks we often take for granted.

Jason’s journey chronicles his fight for life, his triumph over tragedy and the inspiration that enables him to continue to overcome unimaginable adversity.  His personal narrative exemplifies that the power of the human spirit can never be underestimated or extinguished.  His story is also a testament of true love and the dedication Jason and his wife have in their commitment to honor their family and the vows of marriage in good times and bad. 

His story is one of life, rebirth and transformation. Jason represents the human experience at its very best – an ascent from despair to describing himself as the luckiest person alive!

Concerns of Police Survivors Scholarships (C.O.P.S.)

RICH CREAMER

Retired Norfolk Police Sergeant

Growing up in a small suburb of Boston, MA, the experiences Rich has been exposed to would have led anyone down a path of self-destruction and despair. Adverse childhood experiences, trauma, and the mental and emotional impact of a career in law enforcement would be a recipe for a disaster for some.

For Rich, it was an opportunity.

Rich is a US Navy veteran and a 24 year retired Police Sergeant who took both his personal and professional adversity and created his own path for self-development. He immersed himself in studying wellness practices while building upon an already resilient foundation. Rich learned that his mind, energy and connections were the obstacles he had to overcome to improve his resiliency. These small but impactful resilience skills are distributed among his own personal story of struggle. Rich not only shares his experiences but more of how he developed his mindset in navigating a life that challenged him to become his own advocate for personal growth and first responder wellness.

MONDAY, MARCH 18

TUESDAY, MARCH 19

8:00 AM-9:00 AM Registration

Find us at the registration table in the main foyer and enjoy networking with our resource and provider tables.

9:00 AM-11:00 AM Welcome & Keynote Speaker

Honorguard and Welcome

Keynote Speaker, Jason Schechterle

Keynote Title: Burning Shield

Description:

On the night of March 26th, 2001, a taxi cab crashed into the rear of Jason’s patrol car.  Upon impact, Jason’s car burst into flames, trapping him inside with temperatures reaching over 700 degrees.

Through a series of miraculous and fateful circumstances, Jason survived the crash and ensuing physical and emotional catastrophe.  He suffered severe burns to over 40% of his body which drastically altered his appearance. He has undergone more than 50 surgeries just to have the ability to accomplish simple daily tasks we often take for granted.

Jason’s journey chronicles his fight for life, his triumph over tragedy and the inspiration that enables him to continue to overcome unimaginable adversity.  His personal narrative exemplifies that the power of the human spirit can never be underestimated or extinguished.  His story is also a testament of true love and the dedication Jason and his wife have in their commitment to honor their family and the vows of marriage in good times and bad.

His story is one of life, rebirth and transformation. Jason represents the human experience at its very best – an ascent from despair to describing himself as the luckiest person alive! 

11:15 AM-12:30 PM Workshop Sessions

 Session Title: PTSD and Moral Injury

Presenters: Jeff Dill

Description: This presentation involves a careful examination of firefighter, EMS and Dispatcher suicides, an introduction to PTSD, and Moral Injury. During the workshop we will review the suicide data FBHA has collected and explain why the presenter believes moral injury plays a larger role than PTSD in the first responder culture.

 

Session Title: Inoculating Against the Fatal 10 of First Responder Suicide

Presenter: Dr. Olivia Johnson

Description: Dr. Olivia Johnson has collected data and done research in the field of officer suicide for nearly 15 years. From her research, The FATAL 10 was developed. These are 10 common factors noted in a majority of completed suicide cases, non-fatal attempts, and murder-suicides. Based on this research, it is well understood that suicide prevention and intervention methods do not work, but we know what does. The Blue Wall Institute developed the Inoculation Paradigm, this paradigm changes the way we think about health and wellness and will reduce risk factors that contribute to officer suicides and other negative outcomes.
This training course will not only address the data and the FATAL 10, but will address each component in-depth and provide real world solutions and assist first responders in thinking outside the box when addressing the issues they will face. The Health Model will be used to teach skills to assist first responders in changing negative mindsets and behaviors, thus increasing their overall health and wellness.

 

Session Title: Wellness and the Wounded Warrior

Presenter: Clark Beckley

Description: This workshop invites the opportunity to support an advanced individual understanding of why first responders hurt uniquely, struggle to find healthy community for healing, and experience higher levels of relational isolation and loneliness. Often, topics identify and review macro-level concepts related to wellness at a department level. However, this workshop provides an opportunity for individuals to personally identify and reflect on elements that contribute to their experience with wounds caused by chronic exposure to traumatic events and systemic intrusions to overall emotional wellness. Together, we will learn and discuss how we are intrinsically wired to serve and identify opportunities we have to use our stories to create, model, and nurture healthy and fulfilling workplace relationships, teams, and organizations.

 

Session Title:One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Finding Help That Works

Presenter: Cindy McKnight and Danielle Brengel

Description: Determining if you (or a co-worker) needs support and what that looks like can be a daunting task. Understanding what types of resources are available, where to find them, and how to find the best fit can make that process much easier. This session will add to your resources list and toolbox when talking with providers, peers, and yourself to build effective and supportive connections during times of need.

 

12:30-1:30 PM Lunch

Join us for lunch in Ballroom F and network with our vendor tables in the main hallways.

1:30 PM-2:45 PM Workshop Sessions

 -Session Title: Breaking the Barriers

Presenter: Ron Rufo

Description: This presentation will highlight Dr. Rufo’s latest book, Breaking the Barriers: Aiding Police Officers’ Physical & Mental Health. This session is a PowerPoint presentation that will deal with police wellness and the emotional trauma officers deal with daily, and what they can do to survive physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually throughout their career. I will cover trauma, PTSD, police suicide, and the stigma of mental health treatment. I will also offer solutions such as meditation, breathing, exercises, yoga, and nutrition. This course will benefit all officers, active and retired, achieve emotional happiness.

 

Session Title: Spiritual Fortitude: A Key Dimension to First Responder Resiliency

Presenter: Tammy Roach

Description: Have you found yourself asking “why” after a traumatic incident or death event? Are you tired, frustrated, or perhaps angry by what you have experienced on the job? Understanding that spiritual fortitude is essential for 1st Responders who regularly face trauma, death, and moral injury throughout their careers, this is a down and dirty discussion about spirituality and how it relates to your career. In this course Tammy will describe the characteristics of spiritual fortitude, help you uncover your level of spiritual health, suggest practices to strengthen your spiritual foundation, and offer practical steps to help you live a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

 

Session Title: Your Insurance Company Should Be Your Partner

Presenter: ICRMT/IPMG Staff

Description: When tragedy strikes you should be able to rely on your partners, including your insurance company. This session will demystify the insurance-partner relationship and showcase how Illinois Counties Risk Management Trust (ICRMT) provides resources for the first responder community in regards to Workers Compensation, Property, Liability and Law Enforcement Liability coverages for public entities in Illinois.

 

Session Title: Neuroscience-Based Treatment for First Responders

Presenter: Shatterproof

Description: First Responders face PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction, and suicide at high rates.  Providing effective treatment for first responders means treating the whole person.  Looking at brain-based treatments is the new frontier of care for these conditions and more.  By delving into how the brain works, we know that we can strengthen and “rehab” brains that have endured trauma, concussive injuries, strokes, addiction, and a host of other issues and need to be healed and re-regulated to reach optimal functioning.  Executives use this, athletes use this, doctors use this for physical issues, and for many years we have proven that the application to the brain is transformative.  It is drug-free, non-invasive, gives relief to first responders, and creates hope and healing.  Dr. Nelson will discuss the model that has been developed at FHE Health a nationally recognized provider that treats first responders and uses this innovative and life-changing with every first responder we treat. Why? Because this treatment sets the stage for a radical change in symptoms, behavior, and processing.  Dr. Nelson will discuss what this treatment entails, how it benefits first responders, and the research that supports these treatments as well as answer questions about health for first responders.

3:00 PM-4:15 PM Workshop Sessions

 Session Title: Legal Considerations of Mental and Physical Health for First Responders

Presenter: Jerry Marzullo

Description: This presentation will discuss any and all of the legal issues facing first responders and answer any questions attendees may have including but not limited to understanding disability pensions; FOID cards; leaves of absence, and discipline as well as the intersection between mental health and the job status of first responders.

 

Session Title:Officer Wellness: Surviving and Thriving On and Off the Job

Presenter: Nicholas Greco

Description: We will identify and discuss the fallout of the 24/7 mindset of today’s police officer. As cumulative stress is a prominent feature in one’s law enforcement career, we will look at the prevalence, impact, and why this should be an area of concern for every police department. We will examine the stress factors, both professionally and personally, which put an officer at risk for PTSD and recognize compassion fatigue, burnout, vicarious trauma, and secondary trauma. We will look at ways that you can take control of your life and career and help others. Finally, we’ll identify and implement policies and procedures in your department to make a positive difference in the lives of your officers.
The course will be supported by cases and examples to demonstrate successful officer response and interactions. Attendees will receive numerous reference materials on recognizing depression, PTSD, suicide prevention, stress reduction, and the impact of cumulative stress.

 

Session Title: Beaten, not Broken

Presenter: Andrew Masters

Description: How can a first responder go from the brink of suicide to thriving as a company officer? Hear Andrew share his story about hitting rock bottom, asking for help, and making his way back up. Finding the resources that are most helpful can be challenging, but knowing where to go and how to navigate that for yourself or others ultimately lead to success both in your career and at home.

 

Session Title: Developing an Evidence-Based Prevention and Intervention Program for Your Agency

Presenter: Michelle Lilly

Description: There is increasing emphasis on the mental health of first responders. Over the course of the last decade, trainings that focus on conditions such as PTSD among law enforcement have been increasingly delivered across the state. While awareness has grown, the ability to access experienced clinicians who understand the unique manifestation of symptoms and challenges of work within law enforcement has not kept pace. In addition to lack of experience, many clinicians may self-identify as being trauma-focused, but do not offer evidence-based treatment for condition such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. This presentation will offer the following: (a) an overview of best practice for treating trauma-related conditions and the things to look for while vetting local clinicians, (b) models for developing and implementing a confidential intervention program for your department, (c) the research on the effectiveness of peer support, and (d) best practices for developing and implementing a peer support program in your department. As such, this presentation covers both external and internal resources that may be leveraged to enhance the mental health of a department and reduce risk for psychological suffering and suicide.

4:30 PM-5:45 PM Panel Session

Choose from three different panel discussions related to clinical services, finances, or peer support!

5:45 PM-7:00 PM Complementary Dinner

Join us in Ballroom F for Mission BBQ!

8:30 AM-9:00 AM Registration

Find us at the registration table in the main foyer and enjoy networking with our resource and provider tables.

9:00 AM-11:00 AM Welcome & Keynote Speaker

Welcome

Keynote Speaker, Rich Creamer

Keynote Title: Seeking Opportunities

Description:

Growing up in a small suburb of Boston, MA, the experiences Rich has been exposed to would have led anyone down a path of self-destruction and despair. Adverse childhood experiences, trauma, and the mental and emotional impact of a career in law enforcement would be a recipe for a disaster for some.

For Rich, it was an opportunity.

 Rich is a US Navy veteran and a 24 year retired police Sergeant who took both his personal and professional adversity and created his own path for self-development. He immersed himself in studying wellness practices while building upon an already resilient foundation. Rich learned that his mind, energy and connections were the obstacles he had to overcome to improve his resiliency.

 These impactful resilience skills are distributed among his own personal story of struggle. Rich not only shares his experiences but more of how he developed his mindset in navigating a life that challenged him to become his own advocate for personal growth and first responder wellness.

This keynote will cover some of the competencies of resiliency, self-awareness, optimism, and connection. In building these resilience skills, attendees may benefit from increased well-being on and off duty and learn the importance of building social support and strong relationships.

11:15 AM-12:30 PM Workshop Sessions

Session Title: How to Reduce Financial Stress

Presenter: Kim Poulos

Description: This presentation will review what causes financial stress, how to respond, outcome and statistics, strategies to cope with financial stress, how to set financial goals and putting your plan together.

 

Session Title: Bulletproof: Solidifying a Strong Family Unit Within a First Responder Family

Presenter: Carla Marquez Ripley

Description: Some of the greatest risks for first responder families are the dissolution of marriage, the building up of resentment towards family members, and the development of a dysfunctional family unit. These dynamics are avoidable for first responder families! There are practical, small shifts and safeguards that can be utilized in every family unit to help ensure the establishment and strengthening of a strong family unit within first responder families.

Session Title: First Responder Mental Wellness & Self-Care

Presenter: Shannon Daidone and Robyn Rabicke

Description: This 75-minute interactive training will provide a foundation of knowledge on mental health & wellness for the First Responder community. Attendees will build insight into our own mental health as well as recognize when other first responders, peers and/or loved ones may be struggling with theirs. Attendees will leave with relevant tools to engage in self-care to better manage stress and the impact of trauma from their duties. This interactive presentation will walk attendees through specific self-care strategies including tactical breath work, building personalized wellness plans and role play peer support scenarios. We will share accessible resources for first responders to feel better supported on their mental health journey.

 

Session Title: The Leaders Role in Building Trust

Presenter: JP Moore

Description: As leaders of first responders who face high-stress situations, we want people to seek our assistance if they are troubled. When they don’t seek our assistance, we question why. The answer is simple, people will only seek help from leaders that they trust. You ask why is that? Well, in order to trust someone, you are choosing to risk something which makes you vulnerable to the other person’s actions. Thus, when it comes to vulnerability of mental health and resiliency, first responders will only seek help from someone they trust.
This presentation will discuss the Leaders Role in Building Trust through identification of the personal characteristic elements and competencies that make a trustworthy leader.

 

12:30 PM-1:30 PM Lunch

Join us for lunch in the Ballroom F and network with our vendor tables in the main hallways

1:30 PM-2:00 PM Closing Session

Presenter: 100 Club of Illinois

2:15 PM-3:30 PM Workshop Sessions

Session Title: Cynicism: How We See Things

Presenters: Al Ferreira

Description: A 75 minute presentation on how cynicism affects the first responder relative to the department, the street, and the family. A discussion on how first responders see the world after years of service, how our vision has changed and what are the affects of the many years of service. Finally, a discussion on how to combat cynicism and stay healthy on the job.

Session Title: Introduction to First Responder Resiliency Development

Presenter: JP Moore

Description: The Illinois Fire Service Institute offers a 4-hour Resiliency Development for First Responder Course to local first responders. This presentation will cover a few key highlights of this essential training with the hope that students that engage in the training will then encourage the leaders of their organization to bring this no-cost training to their organization.

Session Title: Sleep Your Way to the Top

Presenters: Laura King

Description: Restorative and restful sleep is essential to human health and functioning. This presentation will take you help you better understand the science of sleep and how to use it to your advantage. Attendees will learn how sleep deficiencies can be undermining their health, energy levels and ability to succeed both in their relationships and at work. All attendees will be given practical tips on how to create habits designed to protect their sleep and help them find a way to be happier, healthier and more successful in everything they do. 

Session Title: Critical Response

Presenter: Caitlyn Brennan

Description: What can be done before, during and after a critical incident to ensure the best possible outcome for your agency. This course considers the preventative measures, policies, responses and lessons learned from enduring a critical incident.

3:45 PM-5:00 PM Workshop Sessions

Session Title: What Do Therapy K9s Actually Do?

Presenter: Meg Krase and Rich Miller

Description: In this presentation we will cover the basics of how our programs were started, but more so we will go over how to utilize our dogs in our day to day functions in the department. Each presenter serves their department in a different role, social worker, detective, patrol officer, and director of support services. We will each talk about how we integrated our programs into our existing functions and some lessons we have learned along the way.

Session Title: Agency Assessment Tools

Presenters: Caitlyn Brennan

Description: Building and maintaining your department strategy for wellness takes a multi-faceted approach. Hear from SMEs on a variety of essential topics including physical fitness, mental health, family support programs, stress management, financial wellness and peer support. This session will include a presentation as well as interactive components for networking. 

Session Title: Coming soon!

Presenters: Coming soon!

Description: Coming soon!

2023 Testimonials

This was a very good convention. This was my first time attending and I will be back next year for sure! Thank you!

The conference was excellent, providing a solid overview of the challenges we face and the many resources available. The programs were well planned and efficiently used the available time.

I really liked the location of the convention and the venue. It was easy to get to, it was clean and attractive, and it had fantastic informal gathering spaces. And the informal spaces were sunny and bright and looked out at nice scenery. It felt restful and peaceful which is the total opposite of where we all work every day.

The K-9 Breakout session was fantastic. I learned how to get a therapy k-9 program started at my police department. My department was very pleased with the results of this convention. I believe the convention could grow to five times the size it was this year in the next couple of years!

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THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Sponsorship opportunities to support our convention are available. Please contact Kelsey Tomko at ktomko@100clubil.org for further information.

THANK YOU TO OUR CONVENTION ENDORSEMENTS

ABOUT THE HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER

Simplify your convention experience by taking advantage of the 100 Club of Illinois room block at $110/night (Plus $14.95 USD resort charge per night, plus tax) for a single king size room.

The deadline to book your room with this discounted rate is March 1, 2024.

The resort and conference center is surrounded by a serene 150-acre estate that includes the Audubon-certified 18-hole Willow Crest Golf Club, just 25 minutes from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. They have a lakefront outdoor pool, tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts, a spa, two golf simulators, and two restaurants.

CHECK-IN TIME: 4:00 PM

CHECK OUT TIME: 12:00 PM

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