First responder & veteran applications accepted January 1, 2019 to February 10, 2019
Firefighters With PTSD proudly serves all first responders and veterans suffering from PTSD. We raise, train and place both service and therapy dogs with first responders and veterans dealing with PTSD. We also provide training for family members of first responders and veterans on PTSD. We serve all first responders and veterans with honor and dignity.
Firefighters With PTSD was founded by Matt Doughty in 2016 when he wanted to help first responders, like himself, fill the gap in relation to access and resources for these brave men and women suffering from PTSD. Firefighters With PTSD was filed as a 501(c)3 non profit organization in April of 2018.
It started with a book. Our founder, Matt Doughty, wrote a book called A Revelation where he writes about his own life experiences. When writing this book he was trying to decide how he could move that drive and passion to the next level. Matt does a lot of public speaking to youth and thought about starting a non-profit for youth in foster care. He did some research and quickly found that there were already a million charities out there doing great things for these kids. As a “firefighter with PTSD” it occurred to Matt that this was the cause, the cause that had a large need and was not flooded with other organizations help. Alot of research and planning went into forming Firefighters With PTSD. We found what these men and women were in need of and put a road map together to help provide it.
Firefighters with PTSD has four focused areas of service:
1. Service and Therapy dogs
2. First responder/Veteran support groups and retreats
3. Financial support relating to PTSD treatment costs
4. Training and seminars for family members of first responders and veterans regarding PTSD.
Our five-year plan is to primarily focus on Minnesota as much as possible, then as we grow our plan we will spread our wings with more nationally concentrated work.
As we grow and turn focus nationally our ten-year plan is to campaign and gather funding for our big headquarters project in Arkansas. We plan to buy land and develop a cool central headquarters with a campground and entertainment center. This will be where all of our dogs are trained and housed along with a headquarters building. On a larger plot of land, we will develop a campground and entertainment center that will have tubing, fishing, boating, a ropes course, weekend concerts, petting zoo, tree houses and much more. This will be 100% free to first responders and veterans to come enjoy with their families. The public will also be welcome but there will be charges for different activities, ect.
Why Arkansas? Simply put, the weather and windy roads. We want a place that would be comfortable and motorcycle accessible year round. We do a lot of motorcycle activities/rides for Firefighters With PTSD and Arkansas is a great place to ride, not a straight road in the state. Riding is a great mode of therapy for a lot of people. Matt rides as a way of therapy for himself among many other things, as do a lot of veterans. It's a big way to connect with a lot of like minded people and year round riding weather would make for even more opportunities to connect.
Minnesota will always be our home and our heart. Firefighters With PTSD would not leave Minnesota, this ten-year plan would be in addition to our Minnesota base.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goal to improve conditions for first responders and veterans with PTSD. We provide support in many ways like help with treatment costs and the training/placement of service dogs through an application process.
With help from many fire departments, police departments and corporations we were able to place our first dog "Ziva". She is a three year old German Shepherd.
Ziva is an ESA dog and was placed with a 20 year police chief in Georgia.
A word from our recipient:
"After applying for a service dog through FirefightersWithPTSd.org, I was contacted by Matt who stated they had a German Shepherd ready to go. Due to my health I am unable to fly or drive/ride long distances. Matt was very helpful in the entire process. I cannot thank Matt and FirefightersWithPTSD enough for helping me in getting a service dog and delivering her to me. Ziva has helped me so much since she has gotten here.I feel a lot more comfortable staying home by myself now. She is with me all the time where ever I go. She needs to make sure the scene is safe! Thank you FirefightersWithPTSD for all your help with service dog Ziva!"
- John, GA
Thank you to all the donors who are helping make dreams come true for our first responders and veterans.
51-year-old Jordan resident, Randy Michael Darling, passed away Tuesday, July 24, 2018 after his motorcycle crashed into a pickup in Louisville Township, Minnesota. According to the State Patrol crash report, Darling was driving a Harley Davidson southbound on Highway 169 in the right lane when a GMC Sierra entered the intersection at 150th Street West and the two collided at about 3:51 p.m. He was not wearing a helmet and alcohol was not a factor, according to the state patrol.
Darling had recently posted on his Facebook page a Harley Davidson meme that said: “Instead of telling someone who rides a bike how dangerous it is, how about looking twice before changing lanes, making a turn, or reversing out of your driveway? Keep your eyes on the road and off your mobile phone/radio/kids. Re-post this is if you care about someone who rides a motorcycle.”
" As a member of the MN Red Knights, I was moved and compelled to help in any way we could. Randy was a brother in the fire service and in our club."
- Matt Doughty (President) FirefightersWithPTSD
Firefighters With PTSD raised a small amount by having a boot donation at one of our bike run fundraisers following the news of Randy's passing in efforts to help his family.
"Thank you for your organizations continued support, this was very kind of you". - Andrea Darling
Jeffrey A Vollmer, age 40, passed away in December of 2017. He was a member of the Mayer Fire Department. He served as an EMT and Captain. He also took on the role of mentor to new members. He continually strove to better himself and his department by pursuit of education and training. He was quick to offer aid to those in need, making lasting impacts on those he helped, as well as their families. Jeff also made sure his fellow brothers were supported after difficult calls. He proudly served his community.
Jeff was husband to Emily and a loving, joyful father to their two daughters, Anika and Kennedi. He worked hard to make himself better and to provide for his family. He was a trained construction journeyman, spending many years in carpentry, but had also owned and operated his own business in the insurance industry. Emily misses his friendship, and the girls miss daddy being here to play with them.
Jeff had many interests and excelled at them all – hunting, woodworking, photography, playing the guitar – but fishing was his hobby of passion. He especially enjoyed pursuing the elusive muskie and spent many hours on the lake.
Jeff had an easy way of getting along with everyone, sharing his time and talents, and being generous in all ways. Ready, always, with an easy smile, he will be greatly missed by many.
His family recognizes the sacrifice that both firemen and families make when the choice to serve is made. Jeff will live on in the hearts of his family and in the way the future firemen and women answer “the call” to serve and carry hope to those waiting in need.
Firefighters With PTSD raised money for this family with sticker sales and boot donations.
"Thanks for your organizations generosity with support for our family. We are so very grateful".
- Emily Vollmer
US Air Force 1992-96
US Air Force 1996-2002
Coon Rapids Fire 1998-1999
MAC Fire Dept 1999-2000
St Paul Fire Dept 2000-2018
Fire Captain 2011-2018
Your generous donation with the purchase of Matt Doughty's book, A Revelation, will help fund our mission to help first responders and veterans with PTSD.