Coaching First Responders: How it Works

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First Responders are a different breed. We at First Responder Coaching know. We’re part of that life. When people outside that life make assumptions or give advice to a responder, it’s frustrating. If you’re not in it, you don’t get it.

Still, people want to help. That’s fair. But most first responders aren’t taking the time and effort to reach out for help. They ignore self care and PSTI symptoms. They ignore that stuck feeling and try to deal by not dealing.

I’m Fine

It’s a lie we all tell. I’m fine.

You say it to your coworkers, your family, and your friends. You avoid the topic because you don’t want to bother someone with your complaints and you don’t want to hear advice you won’t take. Really, you just don’t want to get into it. So, you brush it off.

You think if you mention it, it’ll be a black mark. You’ll lose credibility as a responder. You might lose more than a shift or two; you could lose your job. That means losing income and being late on bills. You have to pay to eat, live, and take care of family. You don’t have time for therapy, much less the label of someone who’s inept at handling the job.

Nope. I’m fine, you say. Remain silent.

Why Silence Doesn’t Work

When you leave trash out, it piles up. After a few days, it’s a bigger chore to clean up. After months, even bigger. Now, think of how all that trash and junk would look after a few years of doing nothing. It’s turned into bigger problems. Maybe it was just a few wrappers and loose mail at first, but it’s grown. Now it’s bugs, dust, bacteria, stains, and it smells. Leave it and live it in long enough, and you’ll smell too.

That’s not very pleasant. Knowing that, you try to keep clean.

So what’s this have to do with first responder stress and trauma?

Staying silent about mental health is leaving unresolved trauma, PSTI symptoms, or unrest lying around in your head also piles up. Soon, you have other problems as you continue ignoring your mental health. Anger, resentment, confusion, insomnia, forgetfulness, and the list goes on. As the side effects pile up, relationships become harder to manage and jobs become harder to keep. It never feels like your fault, or it always does. Life isn’t fun. In fact, maybe you hate it. This can get dark pretty quickly.

You might think you’ll never let it get that far, and that’s great. We hope so. But in the meantime, let’s consider a different approach.

We Get You

Yes, we know you probably don’t want to talk to a therapist who doesn’t get you. But what if help came from those who get you, those who know the life, the hours, the job?

That’s us. That’s what we do at First Responder Coaching. We support our support, our first responders, in a way no one else does. We get the job, the hours, the life. You can talk shop with us and we’re not shy about the ugly details. We get you because we are you. FRC is comprised of first responders and first responder family members.

Let’s talk about how coaching first responders actually works.


Unlike therapy or mentorship, coaching doesn’t give you advice or tell you what to do.

Wait, if coaching doesn’t tell you what to do, then how can you help someone that doesn’t know what to do?

We as coaches believe you are whole, healthy, and resourceful. Inside, you have the answers you’re looking for. The path forward is within reach; it’s just clouded by things like self-doubt, preconceived notions, fears, and inhibitions. You need a perspective change.

That’s where we come in. With about 80% listening and 20% asking powerful questions, we help you navigate to the goals of your choice, believing in you even when you don’t and fueling your drive to success.


You, the coaching partner, are in charge. You’re the driver, determining the destination and taking control of the vehicle. You decide the path, what to avoid, and what to tackle along the way. Your coach makes no decisions for you. We simply reflect back what you see, laying it out plainly for a broader picture of your journey.


Your coach asks for your destination, your goal, and helps you think about options and a path to get there. We’re with you, riding along as you figure out how you want to move forward each step of the way. We’ll let you know if you’re veering off course or staying in one place too long, but you’ll be the one to choose where and when to move.


In the process, your coach is holding you accountable, reminding you of your goals, and checking if they’ve changed. We ask powerful questions, bringing you to pause and think about things differently. You find new perspectives and paths you never knew about. You try things you never thought you could. As you gain traction, you gain momentum. Soon, you start to realize you can achieve your goals and success is around the corner.

Your Goals Starting Now

There’s no perfect time to get started on taking care of yourself. It’s something you should be doing all the time, just like cleaning up. Sometimes you have time for big steps, and sometimes only little steps, but moving towards your goals—even figuring out what they are—starts now.

You have a job to do and we’re here to support you like no one else. Imagine if you could build resiliency to do your job better. Imagine if you could work your crazy hours, maintain your job, and achieve success in other goals. It’s more possible than you think.

Reach out to an FRC coach today and see what amazing strides you can make toward a more resilient and successful you.