The Resiliency Team

Our Founder

Susan Farren


Susan Farren is the founder of First Responders Resiliency, Inc. as well as a speaker, author, educator.

After 30 years in EMS, in both the public and private sectors, Susan began focusing on the history and cognitive science of public safety. Her research led her to design a program providing psychological and physical resiliency for those who put others lives before their own.

Our Instructors

Ron Shull

Resiliency Instructor

Ron Shull served 31 years with the Santa Rosa Fire Dept. and retired in 2014 from his position as a fire engineer from the departments busiest station, Station 1. He served on the departments union executive board, was a pioneer of the departments wellness and fitness program, and was voted by his peers as firefighter of the year for 2012!  Ron represents the fire division of First Responders Resiliency, Inc.

James Garcia

Resiliency Instructor

After 5 years on the ambulance as an EMT, supervisor and manager, James Garcia went to work for the Oakland Police Department.  After working in patrol, he became the subject matter expert and training coordinator for the OPD Crisis Intervention Team.  James represents the police division of First Responders Resiliency.

Gary McCalla

Resiliency Instructor

Gary McCalla has more than 30 years experience as a residency trained and board certified emergency medical specialist. An ER physician at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Gary is also the medical director for both REACH helicopters and AMR ambulance service in Santa Rosa, CA. With his experience in emergency medicine, as well as training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Gary is an incredible contribution to the evolution of mental well being of health care providers.

Tod Ceruti

Resiliency Instructor

A military veteran, Tod Ceruti is a certified Fire Flex, Veteran Warrior, and prison instructor who teaches a unique form of physical resilience to civilians and prisoners alike. Tod’s experience as a military vet, combined with his own incredible journey into physical wellness, is a life altering benefit to anyone who learns from him.

Jeremy Berlin

Resiliency Instructor

Jeremy Berlin has worked with non-profit organizations around the world, primarily in South East Asia, assisting in community development in slum communities. Since 2012 he has been working with individuals who suffer from brain injuries as a neurobehavioral life skills coach. Jeremy is currently pursuing a masters in counseling with a focus on trauma (PTSD & PTSI) resolution and resiliency development.

Dr. John Freedman


Dr. John Freedman is Board-certified in Anesthesiology and Internal Medicine and served on the front lines in multiple acute care settings for over 30 years. He served as Chief of Anesthesiology at Santa Rosa Kaiser-Permanente for 25 years before retiring in 2014. Over the years he learned invaluable lessons in resiliency through helping physicians, nurses, technicians – and himself – process and prevail over the sometimes daunting challenges of acute care clinical practice. He is a dedicated educator and highly experienced lecturer.

Support Staff

Peter van Gorder

Head of Technology
& Engineering

With a Computer Information Science degree and over 20 years of web development and software engineering experience, Peter van Gorder brings his passion for helping people to First Responders Resiliency Inc.

Prior employ included managing various web sites and online technologies for ProTransport-1 of Cotati CA,  Century Ambulance of Florida, PRN Ambulance of Beverly Hills CA, ATS Ambulance in Loves Park IL, EMS Redline national group purchasing group, and Covalent Health Solutions.