About Us

Our mission is to promote post-traumatic growth, mental health awareness and education by internationally connecting our fellow emergency workers. It's our goal to bring together survivors of mental injuries who have thrived in their post-traumatic growth - to have them share their successes with others who may still be struggling. We produce an annual, mental health symposium where these speakers share their journey of post-traumatic growth. The funds we raise are used to support other similar non-profit organizations that promote mental health, recovery and resiliency. We also provide emergency workers and their families with financial, moral and resource support.




2nd Annual PR&R Symposium


 October 6th, 2019, 17:00 - 23:00.   October 7th, 08:00 - 17:00


The Malcolm Hotel, Canmore, Alberta

321 Spring Creek Dr, Canmore, AB T1W, Canada

Use Promo Code DANS while booking your room

Post-traumatic growth is more than recovery and resiliency, it's about reconfiguring yourself into something bigger and better than you were before. Last year our first annual PR&R event was sold out, and six of our peers from across North America came and shared their experiences of recovery, resiliency and post-traumatic growth. This year our speakers include a dispatcher from Las Vegas, a retired officer that worked both the 9/11 terrorist attack and the tragic Sandy Hook shooting, and the first in medic at the Humboldt bus accident that killed 16 people. All our speakers will be presenting on post traumatic growth and recovery.


Funds raised will be donated to OSI-CAN. OSI-CAN provides many programs for people in need such as peer support groups, equine psychotherapy, and service dog acquisition. http://www.osi-can.ca


This year we'll be in Canmore, Alberta at The Malcolm Hotel in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Just like last year, we're keeping this event cozy, so limited tickets are available. 

2019 Speakers

October 7th - 08:00 - 17:00

Allan Dignard


David Ferris

US Veteran and Retired Police Lieutenant/EMT

Allan began his EMS career in 1998. He’s an advanced care paramedic, senior firefighter and a certified personal trainer and Health, Wellness & Life Coach. For many years Allan suffered with depression, anxiety, emotional eating and alcohol abuse, he now uses fitness, nutrition and personal development to maintain his healthy mind and body. 

As the founder of Third Alarm Coaching, Allan now shares his mental health successes with others around the world and helps them on their own path to post traumatic growth. 

A youth officer during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, David helped three families cope with the loss of parents who went to work one day in 2001 and never came home. A responding officer after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, David said he and his team rewrote the book on critical incident management, responding to a tragedy that none of their training could have prepared them for.

“I’ve been retired almost four years now and those people, the people that I helped and the people that I saw that were deceased, they still pop into my mind, they’re going to be with me my whole life.”

David was also assigned to the Special Response Team (SWAT) as Team Leader, holding former positions in the team as executive officer, sniper team leader, and sniper. During his time as a sniper, he represented the department in national and international sniper training and competition matches. Amid the tragedy and the trauma, David excelled. He became one of the most sought-after weapons experts for training in the New York area and spent time on the SWAT team for his department.

David has a Masters Degree from the University of New Haven in Public Administration, a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Connecticut Law and Society and an Associate’s Degree from Norwalk Community College in Criminal Justice Administration. He was an adjunct instructor at the University of New Haven teaching criminal justice courses.

Daniel Sundahl - DanSun


Daniel Sundahl is a published artist and writer and has two art books produced of his works. Articles of his work are featured in Canadian Paramedicine, Journal of Emergency Medicine, Fire Rescue Magazine, EMS One, EMS World Magazine and The Canadian Journal of Emergency Nursing. His art is recognized worldwide, and he travels internationally speaking on his art and personal experiences with occupational stress injuries and post-traumatic growth. He is the president and founder of the Peer Recovery and Resiliency Society and supports emergency workers from around the world. Daniel is also an advanced care paramedic, firefighter, pre-hospital educator, and photographer.

The majority of Daniel’s work involves emergency services photography. It involves an emotional connection to the artist as most of his pieces are based on actual emergency calls he has attended as a paramedic and firefighter. He is passionate about reducing the stigma of PTSD for his fellow first responders, and he uses his art to raise awareness of occupational stress injuries worldwide. Daniel has exhibited and spoken on mental health for first responders across North America as well as England, Poland, Guatemala, Australia and Finland. Daniel continues to use his images to promote mental health awareness and lower negative stigma for all first responders worldwide.

Michelle McKeaveney

Corrections Officer

Brian Willis

CEO Winning Mind Training / Police Officer Ret.

Leah Neudorf


Leah Neudorf started working rural EMS in April 2016 at the age of 19. Being a paramedic has been a dream of hers since she was 12. Leah had overcome many barriers in making her dream a reality. 
On April 6, 2018 Leah and her partner were the first paramedics on scene at the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. An accident that has impacted so many. Having to overcome the daily challenges at work, at home and with family and friend relationships. A month following the incident Leah and her fiancé Matthew planned to marry. Shortly after their marriage she was hired with Parkland Ambulance in Prince Albert. Leah and her husband Matthew currently reside in Prince Albert. Leah will share her story of recovery and hopes her experience can help others.  

Michelle's blunt, honest, and heartfelt delivery combined with her highly energetic motivational approach leaves you feeling empowered and offers you the necessary tools to "let go and live free", to remind you that life does not end with barriers or obstacles.  Her identity and beloved career in Corrections ended abruptly with a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD/OSI). Compounded with a diagnosis of Grave’s Disease as well as Thyroid Eye Disease.

Her life’s direction resulted in numerous painful surgeries in Canada and at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, US. Through her varied experiences she has committed her life’s work to service and charity. 

Michelle has been a Social Worker and Correctional Officer since Convocating with her Bachelor’s Degree in 1993. She has worked as a Mental Health Therapist, and Counsellor on First Nations communities for over 20 years. 
She's a wife of a Veteran who is also a Correctional Officer and Mother of 3 adult children. 


Charlotte Gentry

Dispatcher/EMT/Quality Improvement Coordinator

Charlotte Gentry is the Quality Improvement Coordinator for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Combined Communications Center. She is also a Priority Dispatch Software Instructor. She has been in EMS for over 20 years. She spent most of her career in Georgia, where she worked on the ambulance in one of the busiest cities, Atlanta. During this time she also worked in dispatch. In 2014 she moved to Las Vegas, which she now calls home. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and a Master’s degree in Emergency Management. She was attending the Route 91 Harvest Music festival on Oct. 1, 2017, when a gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.

Brian is an acclaimed thought leader, training innovation specialist, catalyst for change in the law enforcement profession, speaker, author and trainer. Brian is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution and commitment to Officer Safety in Canada, a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to the law enforcement profession and in 2011 Brian was named as the Law Officer Trainer of the Year.

Brian began his law enforcement career with the Calgary Police Service in 1979 and over the next 25 years he worked as a patrol officer, tactical officer, patrol supervisor and trainer. From 1995 to 2004 he was the head use of force trainer for the Calgary Police Service (an agency of 1950 officers). In that role he was responsible for researching, developing, instructing and overseeing the Officer Safety, Subject Control Tactics, Crowd Management, Incident Command and Emergency Vehicle Operations programs. Brian also served on the Crowd Control Unit for 19 years as a constable, supervisor in charge of training and development, Platoon Commander and Deputy Commander. He served in integral roles during the World Petroleum Congress and G8 Summit in Calgary. Brian is committed to leading the fight against mediocrity and helping law enforcement officers, trainers and leaders create a Legacy of Excellence through Life’s Most Powerful Question – What’s Important Now? (W.I.N.)

On October 6th from 17:00-22:00 there will be networking opportunities and a chance to speak one on one with our guest speakers. I've also invited a few of my contacts to come speak on some of the mental health resources available to first responders in Alberta. Here's the line up for Sunday night:

Mike Skinner - OSI-CAN Alberta, www.osi-can.ca/

Shawn Meier (with Mark Wade) - Occutrauma

Dr. Megan McElheran - BOS Program, https://wgmpsych.com/bos/

Jessica Van Der Hoek - Prairie Sky Equine Assisted Therapy Association

Teresa Coulter - Yoga for trauma

Chad Guenter & Gregg Schaalje - Project All In

Who Should Attend

• Paramedics

• Educators

• Correction Officers

• Nurses

• Fire/Rescue Personnel 

• Dispatchers 

• Medical Directors

• Law Enforcement  

• Military Emergency Personnel

• Social Workers 

• Other Emergency Professionals


our generous sponsors

CVFSA 20 Year Decal copy.jpg

project all in coin

Lorienz Corporate Services Inc.

Health Sense Inc.

Greatest Commandment Supports First Responders

Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers

Foundation of Care - Dale Bayliss

Eye Candy

Rob Gunn

Greg Shovak

Greg Bendrien Memorial

Jordan River (JR's) Next - Tannis Dukart


Want to Help Support this Event?


We are actively seeking sponsorship and silent auction items. Please contact

Lana Ebbers at lana@dansunphotos.com or use the Contact link below.


Contact Us

The Peer Recovery & Resiliency Society

95 Lombard Crescent, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, T8N 3N1

Email: Daniel@dansunphotos.com

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