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2023 First Responder Wellness Conference

First Responder Wellness Conference

September 27-29, 2023

Hilton Garden Inn

West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

2023 Conference Sponsors

Contact us if your would like to be a sponsor for the 2023 Wellness Conference.

Registration Fee:

Dave Grossman Only Ticket (One Day) - $99.00

All Conference (2 1/2 Days) - $125.00

Scholarships are available for free attendance to the conference.  Email for more information.


Hilton Garden Inn

205 S 64th St, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Special room rates of $111/night are available.

Rooms are limited.  Click the following link to make your hotel reservation.






First Responder Wellness Conference


The conference will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in West Des Moines Iowa on September 27-29, 2023.  The conference will include topics and information related to first responder wellness, trauma, and peer support.  


The Peer Support Foundation is committed to proactively addressing the stressors that can occur throughout the life of first responders and their families.  

Who Should Attend?

The First Responder Wellness Conference attracts a large number of guests.  Our 2022 Peer Support Conference included over 100 attendees. The conference participants include:


  • Administrators

  • Chaplains

  • Civilian Personnel

  • Correction Officers

  • EMS

  • Fire Chiefs

  • Fire Fighters

  • First Responder Families

  • First Responder Supporters

  • Human Resources

  • Law Enforcement Officers 

  • Mental Health Clinicians

  • Peer Support Personnel

  • Police Chiefs

  • Sheriffs

  • Training Specialists


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Keynote Speaker

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

In their description of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Slate Magazine said, “Grossman cuts such a heroic, omnicompetent figure, he could have stepped out of a video game.”  He has five patents to his name, has published four novels, two children’s’ books, and six non-fiction books to include his “perennial bestseller” On Killing (with over half a million copies sold), and a New York Times best-selling book co-authored with Glenn Beck.


He is a US Army Ranger, a paratrooper, and a former West Point Psychology Professor.  He has a Black Belt in Hojutsu, the martial art of the firearm, and has been inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame.  


Col. Grossman’s research was cited by the President of the United States in a national address, and he has testified before the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Congress, and numerous state legislatures.  He has served as an expert witness and consultant in state and Federal courts.  He helped train mental health professionals after the Jonesboro school massacre, and he was also involved in counseling or court cases in the aftermath of the Paducah, Springfield, Littleton and Nickel Mines Amish school massacres.  


Col. Grossman has been called upon to write the entry on “Aggression and Violence” in the Oxford Companion to American Military History, three entries in the Academic Press Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict and has presented papers before the national conventions of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  


Since his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1998, he has been travelling full time as one of our nation’s leading trainers for military, law enforcement, mental health providers, and school safety organizations.


Today Col. Grossman is the director of Grossman On Truth, LLC (  In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he has written and spoken extensively on the terrorist threat, with articles published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Civil Policy and many leading law enforcement journals, and he has been inducted as a "Life Diplomate" by the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, and a "Life Member" of the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute.

2023 First Responder Wellness Conference Schedule of Events

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


0700-0800         Registration/Vendor Setup

0800-0815         Welcome/introductions/Opening Ceremony

0815-1200         Keynote - Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

1200-1300         Lunch - Provided by the Peer Support Foundation

1300-1600         Keynote - Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

Thursday, September 28, 2023

0800-0815        Morning announcements

0815-0915        The Path from Law Enforcement to Serving First Responders- Josh Vander Zwaag

0930-1130        Stop Fearing the Hard Conversations: It’s Time to Talk About it – Suicide Intervention - Jane Nady

1130-1200        Crisis K9s of the Midlands

1200-1300        Lunch - Provided by the Peer Support Foundation

1300-1400        Retirement Transition Program - Lt. Andrew Phipps, DMPD

1415-1600        Brain Health - Sheila Russell

Friday, September 29, 2023

0800-0815        Morning announcements

0815-0915        Peer Support Updates - President Jeremy Sprague

0915-1130        Shatterproof First Responder Program FHE Health - Annalee Moody, LMHC 

1130-1230        Lunch - Provided by the Peer Support Foundation

1215-1300        Awards/ Raffle


End of Conference

Day 2 & 3 Topics

Local and National Experts in the First Responder Wellness Field

The following presenters and their topics are listed below.

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