We equip first responders in the Pacific Northwest with mental, emotional, and spiritual support.
Responder Life was established in 2004 by a small group of police, fire, and 9-1-1 dispatcher families who had shared common concerns about their loved ones. We established the organization to create a better way to care for those who sacrifice so much to protect our cities, communities, neighborhoods, and families.
In twenty-five years as a member of the Portland Police Bureau, I observed courageous men and women provide selfless, dedicated service to our community every day. As my career progressed from a street officer to the Assistant Chief of Police, I witnessed the cumulative negative impact on many of my coworkers after years of responding to countless emergencies, traumatic incidences, and other human tragedies.
These experiences took a heavy toll on many of my colleagues and often led to alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, suicide, and cynicism resulting in less effective policing in our communities. Assistance and support were almost nonexistent unless the officer’s work performance suffered or the department became aware of a major crisis in their personal life. Sadly, we were losing our police officers in the process of protecting our communities.
Today, Responder Life seeks to change this story. We work every day to strengthen first responders and their families to counteract the negative long-term effects of their careers.
– Dave Williams, Founder and Board Member
"The Responder Life Peer Support Training is the best I have experienced in 14 years of doing peer support. The skill training and practice was the most helpful and useful and the opportunity to learn in a safe environment. I hope this training is offered again soon so more of my team can attend."
- Police Officer
Everything we do is about balancing the health of first responders in every aspect of their lives.
We lead from a place of consistency and trustworthiness.
We are committed to being honest and forthright in all our actions.
We bring together multiple disciplines and work to cultivate relationships among them.
We have a posture of compassion, non-judgement, openness, curiosity, and grace.
We believe trust will be the evidence of our core values in action and the hallmark of our relationship with those we serve.
We provide first responders with services that equip them to thrive.
Our programs equip first responders with the tools they need to meet the mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges of their profession.