The Resilient Responder: Shedding Light on FR Mental Health

These days, podcasts are the new books. We listen to them while driving, running, cooking, and more. Books are great, but podcasts are the trend. If you’re looking for a good one, The Resilient Responder is a solid win for the first responder community.

Founding SCARS Inc.

Just over a year ago, Dylan Oliveto, Josh Hagan, and Patrick Clark put together SCARS Inc. to respond to the mental health crisis facing first responders everywhere.

“I wracked my brain for a long time about how to promote mental health in our profession,” Dylan explained in their first podcast, “and not just EMS and Fire but Law Enforcement also. For me, the scars piece of that was those mental scars that nobody can see. That call that still wakes you up at three o’clock in the morning, that bad run of calls that we had that still haunts us, 10, 15, 20 years later.”

Dylan had worked with Josh and Patrick in the fire department and EMS over the years. They’ve seen changes in the industry and their brothers and sisters from the job. What better way to promote mental health than by talking about it in a podcast?

“Watching our colleagues suffer,” Dylan continues, “knowing that first responders are dying at an alarming rate because they don’t feel like they can come forward, that’s where SCARS come from. Scars are those invisible scars that are embedded in your brain that you don’t even know are there until the right time or the right situation comes along.”


In October of 2023, the crew took on First Responder Coaching’s The Resilient Responder, continuing the journey and reaching out to more guests.

Recent guests include Chief Andy Starnes with Insight Fire Training, Blake Stinnett from Next Rung, and Dr. Kevin Junkins with Community Care of West Virginia. They’ve talked about triggers, coping, building resilience, and the effects of COVID-19 on first responders. They’ve shared resources and grown their Facebook community as a line of support to continue the conversation.

You can catch them on their RSS feed (with links to Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Pandora) or watch them on YouTube and see their most common location, a simple rustic barn. Can’t get much more common man than that.

These guys are real, honest, and unafraid to shed light on what many in the industry push down. That’s our mental health, our trauma, our skeletons of the first responder world. We shove it down, but it comes back and haunts us. Dylan, Josh, and Patrick are talking about it, bringing the demons to light, sharing stories and resources, and making sure we let people know it’s okay to not be okay.

The Resilient Responder

We’re grateful for these three taking on the podcast. With this chapter, our partnership has opened doors to more topics and connections to mental well-being.

“I will say how happy and honored we are to be part of the FRC family,” Dylan says recently, “and have the opportunity to do The Resilient Responder podcast and work toward our goal of becoming coaches ourselves.”

All three are currently enrolled in our Coach Certification Course.

“When I came up with the idea, I never dreamed it would go as far as it has. I am blessed with two of my closest friends being involved and supporting the project since it was a simple idea on a napkin. It’s funny because, just like every first responder, we have problems too. We have work and home stressors, we don’t always see eye to eye, and we even have some falling outs. But it makes us stronger, brings us closer, and makes our show more pure, real, and strong. With three different personalities doing The Resilient Responder, we can relate and empathize with almost any first responder. I think that is what makes us different, stronger, diverse, and a great fit into the FRC family and community.”

Looking Ahead

So what’s next for The Resilient Responder podcast?

“We have a lot of plans for 2024, and with our contacts and Jennifer’s assistance with additional contacts and content, we hope to continue to grow the show, put the spotlight on First Responder Coaching, and help all of those out there who are struggling.”

All our work is fueled by motivation. Tragedy is often a trigger, but the hope of preventing more tragedy can motivate us to move forward.

“We dedicate a lot of what we do to our friend Sarah Rogers, who tragically left us on September 12, 2023, by committing suicide. We miss her every day and hope that we can help prevent as many of these situations as possible.”

By spreading the word and supporting one another, we at FRC believe this is possible!

“We have new content coming soon! Until then, from Dylan, Josh, and Patrick, stay safe and reach out to us by email or Facebook messenger.”