June 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm MDT
Wildland Firefighters Mental Health and Well-being

A Free Zoom Event – Register in Advance



Suzanne Connolly, LCSW, LMFT, LISAC

Suzanne Connolly, LCSW, LMFT, LISAC
Suzanne specializes in treating trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is passionate about sharing her effective methods with professionals and leaders around the world. Researcher, author, speaker, Adjunct Professor, therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Suzanne Connolly has been in private practice working with adults, adolescents, couples and families in Northern Arizona since 1987.





Marc Titus, Nevada Division of Forestry

Marc Titus, Staff Specialist – Fire Adapted Communities, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Nevada Division of Forestry

Marc Titus currently works as the Nevada Division of Forestry’s Fire Adapted Communities Staff Specialist and is completing an MS in Psychology from Arizona State University.
His journey of recovery from PTSD is thought-provoking, alarming and yet filled with hope. Being intimately involved in the 2008 Iron 44 Fatality Incident ultimately took its toll on Marc and after many years of degradation, he was finally diagnosed with PTSD in December 2014. Losing everything from his career as a wildland firefighter, Marc rebuilt his life around his recovery and new yoga businesses he and wife, Heather Shereé Titus owned and operated in Sedona, AZ. He has been an advocate for understanding PTSD and providing tools and
practices that combat traumatic stress and mental health issues in First Responders. He now lives in Carson City, NV with his wife and dog, Boon and can finally think about (and plan for) the future again.

Nelda St. Clair, Owner of firemind®

Nelda St. Clair, Owner of firemind®
Nelda started her career with the Forest Service in 1979 on the Medicine Bow National Forest. She moved on to the BLM as a Unimog Operator and over the years held various positions including Fire Operations Supervisor, Helitack Manager, Assistant FMO and FMO.  She spent 14 years as the Center Manager at the Western Great Basin Coordination Center. She retired in 2019 from the BLM National Office as the National CISM Coordinator.  Nelda is completing a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and is the National CISM Coordinator (Contract) for the BIA. Nelda also owns firemind® a mental health referral service for wildland firefighters.



Shawna Legarza, PsyD, Director of Emergency Management, La Plata County, Co

Shawna A. Legarza, PsyD, Director of Emergency Management, Office of Emergency Management, La Plata County, Colorado

Shawna was raised on a cattle ranch in Northern Nevada and entered the firefighting profession as an engine crewmember for the Bureau of Land Management. She has recently retired as the National Director of Fire and Aviation for the United States Forest Service, where she worked for four years in Washington, DC.  She spent 31 years working for the federal government in fire and aviation management.  Shawna held numerous leadership positions across the Country for both the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.  These positions include Incident Commander, Operations Section Chief, Safety Officer and many years working as a hotshot crew member. Shawna started the San Juan Hotshot crew as the Superintendent in 2002, worked as the Dispatch Center Manager in Grand Junction, was the District Fire Management Officer in Bayfield, CO, and the Forest Fire Management Officer on the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California.   Prior to her position in Washington DC, she was the Regional Fire and Aviation Director for the Forest Service in California.

In addition to her fire experience, she worked at the World Trade Center 9/11 recovery efforts, Hurricane Rita and the Greensburg Tornado.  She has also traveled internationally to the recent fires in Australia, Brazil and Mexico.   Shawna has a Doctorate in Psychology, a Master of Science in Kinesiology and a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Physiology and Teaching. She is a graduate of the National Wildland Fire Apprenticeship Program Academy.

May 6, 2021
Nomex for Every BODY with Bria Fleming
Learn how Incidental’s various products and services are developed, and what the future might hold. Bria will share information on NFPA1977 (the safety standard that governs our uniforms), and the general state of workwear today, especially for women. We’ll discuss the process for custom-made garments, and finish with a couple quick DIY repair tutorials!

April 12, 2021
Incident Management and COVID-19. Lessons Learned and Remaining Challenges
A conversation with Bea Day, Incident Commander, USDA Forest Service, Sara Sweeney, Superintendent, Mormon Lake Hotshots, USDA Forest Service and Stuart (Stu) Rodeffer, Logistics Section Chief, Portland NIMO Team, USDA Forest Service

March 18, 2021
Leading towards a more inclusive Wildland Fire Community “Just because it has always been does not mean it has to continue to be”
Presented by Terry Baker, CEO, Society of American Foresters

As our societies grow and change, the wildland fire community has to continue to evolve in its workforce and practices to better meet the expectations place upon it. Although the thought of and having diversity, equity, and inclusion conversations can be challenging, they represent opportunities for each of us to engage and lead from where we are. This session will focus on learning through sharing stories and experiences to provoke introspection problem solving.

February 23, 2021
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: A Practice for Challenging Times and All Times. A way of being happy
Presented by Michelle Reugebrink

Considering the intensity of the past year, from historic wildfires to social and economic tensions to a global pandemic, it is no wonder that many of us are experiencing burnout, stress, and anxiety. This includes first responders who regularly experience critical incidents and ongoing stress. The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) program is available to help you cope with a range of stressors and anxiety through a medical and science-based approach. Psychological resilience can be learned through specific practices and has been found to bolster resiliency in the face of, and in recovering from, stress.

November 23, 2020
Nine Insights from Living with PTSD: From Darkness to the Light, a Wildland Firefighter Perspective
Presented by Marc Titus

PTSD is quietly impacting wildland firefighters with its often devastating personal and professional repercussions. While no official numbers exist, suicide has become another statistic now necessary to track within the wildland community as anecdotal data show an alarming trend. While agency’s come to grips with this burgeoning problem, firefighters can educate themselves to better understand the dynamics of stress, trauma and PTSD. This event will provide a unique view of the insidious nature of trauma, its effects on the human being with an eye towards recovery and nine key insights derived from the experiences of a wildland firefighter afflicted by this nervous system injury.

October 6, 2020
Emotional Intelligence for Wildland Fire Professionals
Presented by Kelly Martin

It is crucial for wildland fire professionals today to be technically competent in their jobs. What is less obvious and less understood is the cognitive competency needed for our professional job performance. This event will provide you a better understanding of our own thought processes and how we make decisions on emotional feelings, social inputs, and how developing a high level of Emotional Intelligence can affect risk decision job performance as well as our daily performance.