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Colorado P.O.S.T Approved National 40HR Peer Support Academy

First Responder Trauma Counselors offers an Intensive and Extensive Peer Support Training Academy. Our Academy is taught by actual Front Line First Responders/Clinicians and is for ALL Badges, ALL Uniforms, All Scrubs & approved by Colorado P.O.S.T.


What sets us apart

This is not the usual static lecture program that First Responders are used to experiencing. FRTC’s National Peer Support Academy supports,

  • the multi-dimensional blended learning environment
  • state of the art learning platforms
  • periodic learning verification to ensure 100% efficacy
  • low student to instructor ratios

Academy Information

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Our next Academy is in September of this year (2021) and will be held in Berthoud, Colorado

2022 dates are not yet published

Seats are limited, due to our model of high instructor to student ratio, therefore it is wise to enroll some months in advance to ensure your seat


**If you are a Hosting Agency, you can have TWO seats allocated for FREE**


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Confidentiality • Role Conflict • Limits and liability • Communication facilitation and listening skills • Nonverbal communication • Problem assessment • Problem-solving skills • Cross-cultural issues • Common psychological symptoms • Medical conditions confused with psychiatric disorders • Stress management and resiliency • Burnout out and Boreout • Grief management and Loss • Domestic violence • Medical issues and lifestyle impact • Suicide assessment and prevention • Crisis management intervention • Work-related critical incident stress management • Dependency and abuse • Concepts of Peer Support • Operational & Policy Guidelines for your Department • Stress Management • When to seek mental health consultation/referral information • Relationship/family issues and concerns • Military support • Local resources • Organizational stress and communication • Brief screening tools • Wellness and self care • Anger Management • Ethical & Confidentiality issues in Peer Support • Suicide & Suicide Prevention • Trauma and PTSI • Communications • Interventions and Tips • Perspectives in Survivorship • Using a Therapy K-9 for Peer Support • Experiential processing Officer Involved Shootings/Aftermath 


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Joanne Rupert, MA, LPC, NBCC, DCS is currently the Clinical Supervisor to 11 Emergency Services Agencies in Northern Colorado and across the Front Range. She has over 18 years of understanding the complexities of Peer Support in Emergency Services. Joanne utilizes additional Presenters who are Culturally Competent to present at this First Responder National Peer Support Certification Academy. 

Karen Nicholson, MA, LPC, FACHE, FACMPE is an assigned clinician for two FRTC member agencies and is the Behavioral Health & Logistics Director for FRTC.  Karen brings a wealth of knowledge as an experienced S.W.A.T. negotiator and CIT trainer to our National Peer Support Academy.

Taylor Montey, MA LPCC, has been in the fire service for 15 years and is currently working as an  assigned clinician to two FRTC member agencies serving the First Responder population. 

Stephanie Neuman MSW, LSCW in Law Enforcement for 10 years, as a Detention Officer and Patrol Sergeant.  Is trained in EMDR and Brain Spotting.

Chris Hill, CAC II – Battalion Chief , Northern Colorado Fire Department, Peer Support Team Coordinator for a large Northern Colorado Agency.


P.O.S.T. Approved
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First Responder Trauma Counselors is proud to be able to offer their National Peer Support Training Academy to Law Enforcement Agencies as a P.O.S.T. Approved course.

This means that our training is considered by Colorado P.O.S.T. to be at a level accepted by their standards for reimbursement or use of eligible grant funds.

For additional information, email us at info@911overwatch.org







A.S.T.I Approved
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First Responder Trauma Counselors National Peer Support Training Academy is designed and modeled as an ALL Agency, ALL Uniforms & ALL Scrubs package, and ALL First Responder agencies are strongly encouraged to attend.

Our training is also approved by A.S.T.I. (Advanced Security Training Institute)

For additional information, email us at info@911overwatch.org


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Q: Do I have to be attached to a First Responder Agency to attend?

A: It isn’t a requirement however, it would be wise to be either attached to, or aligned with one.

Q: Do I have to attend all 5 days?

A: Yes, in order for you to acquire certification of completion, you must attend all 5 days.

Q: What if I have to cancel?

A: We understand the nature of being a First Responder, if you need to cancel you can choose another Academy date in the same year as a credit. We can only offer one amendment due to our class size & schedule constraints.

Q: Does my Agency have to have a Peer Support Team already?

A: No, many of our attendees are there to begin the process of setting up their agency’s first Peer Support Team.

Q: Can my Agency host an Academy?

A: Absolutely, reach out to us about how this can work for you.

Q: Is the Academy confidential? 

A: Yes, discussions held within the confines of the Academy are not divulged.

Q: How many Academies per year are there?

A: We aim to hold at least 2 however, as our classes are kept small for efficacy, we find they fill up quickly. As a result, we hold as many per year as we can in line with agency requests.

Q: Are there tests or homework?

A: There are no tests, we use a blended learning approach where we integrate our LMS with face to face training.  We also use reinforced learning practices to ensure that our participants graduate with 100% knowledge.  There is some after class reading.

Q: Why is it a 40 hour Academy and not less?

A: The IAFF, CPFF and IACoP only endorse 40 Hour Peer Support training as a minimum standard.  Additionally, should Colorado suffer a mass incident, the IAFF will only request those that have undergone 40 hours of training in this subject.

Q: Can I get CE’s for this Academy?

A: Yes. We will send your information in to apply for CE’s.


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National Peer Support Academy Manual

Joanne Rupert MA, LPC, NBCC, DCS, pens new 2021, National Peer Support Academy Manual which accompanies First Responder Trauma Counselors; new and improved “State of the Art” training platforms, coupled with their hallmark, “Culturally Competent Clinicians” who are dynamically informed as they have, been there and done that. Their teaching style in deeply seated in practical applications that always keep the Academy participants, engaged and entertained and most importantly enlightened and educated, as to the importance of caring for their sisters and brothers in public service.

Let’s be clear this in not just another one of those, endless loops of drone on PSYCOBABBLE , Death by Power Point, programs where the participants are watching the clock to see how much longer their posterior and brain can endure. This is an exciting learning platform, to stretch and grow and be excited to be part of a much larger solution of caring for each other, and having the tools to effect positive outcomes.

In fact many of our National Peer Support Academy participants have gone back to school and have become First Responder licensed Behavioral Health Therapists themselves, several actually working and instructing for First Responder Trauma Counselors. So what are you waiting for reserve your seats today and become inspired…

Included in our National Peer Support Academy, is the comprehensive manual that brings all badges and all uniforms together, this fully bound edition is the perfect tool for you to use not only throughout the academy, but for years after as a reference.



Next Academy is September 2021, proudly hosted by Berthoud Fire Protection District and is Colorado P.O.S.T. approved