SERVING THOSE WHO SERVE US DAILY…
Every day there is a house fire where the occupants are severely injured or killed. Every day there is a high-speed chase where lives are at stake. Every day there is a moment where a police officer is forced to choose between their life and the life of another human being. Every day there is a team of people rushing to save the life of a child, a mother, a father, a husband, a wife. Every day since the end of 2001 a unit has been engaged in combat operations somewhere in the world. Every moment of every day is unscheduled, unknown and uncertain, and, uncertain as to how far someone will have to go to protect lives, property or the security of our Nation.
OUR VISION is to empower those who serve us to face the challenges of their respective roles by providing them the most relevant training, development and tools critical and necessary to success on the job AND AT HOME.
THE EVIDENCE IS REAL
For the third straight year, more officers died by suicide than in the line of duty. According to Blue H.E.L.P., a nonprofit run by active and retired police officers, at least 159 officers took their own lives in 2018, the same number of suicides tracked in 2017 and 19 more than in 2016.
Less than 10 percent of U.S. departments have suicide prevention programs.
IT’S TIME TO ACT
Exposure to trauma, horrific accidents and shootings are leading to mental health struggles that often get untreated. The rate of PTSD and depression for police and firefighters is five times higher than the civilian population.
USA Today reported that 103 firefighters and 140 police officers died by suicide in 2017, compared to 93 firefighter and 129 officer line-of-duty deaths.
AFTER THE FACT DOESN’T CUT IT
The U.S. military finished 2018 with a troubling, sad statistic: It experienced the highest number of suicides among active-duty personnel in at least six years.
A total of 321 active-duty members took their lives during the year, including 57 Marines, 68 sailors, 58 airmen, and 138 soldiers.
The deaths equal the total number of active-duty personnel who died by suicide in 2012, the record since the services began closely tracking the issue in 2001.
SHORT ON TIME, MONEY, RESOURCES
Critics believe the lack of resources for mental health adds to lives being lost. Mental health experts say the barrier that keeps officers from seeking help are shame, fear of being off the job and the stigma behind it.
With all of this being the reality faced by our firefighters, emergency services personnel, law enforcement officers and military, NO ONE is formally teaching them how to step into these situations, how to mentally, physically and emotionally prepare themselves for the challenges ahead, AND giving them the tools to return home undamaged.
WHY WE EXIST…
Dedicated to change.
We, as a community (and I say “we” because I have served in these communities for over two and half decades) are the men and women who are tasked with creating safety for others yet we have never been given the tools to experience that safety.
OUR MISSION: To MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY and EMOTIONALLY prepare those who CHOOSE to place themselves in harm’s way every day for the benefit of others… AND give them the opportunity to experience what safe feels like when they return home.
Our task and purpose are clear – provide critical training programs and support services before the incident, before the deployment, during a career and at key points of transition. Learning something new or experiencing information newly brings about new levels of awareness and insight. With that awareness and insight, individuals have access to new actions, new decisions, new abilities and a new path for mentally processing the events they have encountered and as they encounter them. The programs delivered by OPMF engage individuals, teams and organizations in an effort to reduce and mitigate the impact of a life spent in service to others.
The Operational Mindset Foundation is a Delaware Nonstock Corporation established in April of 2019 with our 501c3 Charitable Organization status currently pending with the IRS. Having been a part of the “operational community” for almost the last three decades I have watched as our communities, our culture and our Country has changed. We have seen the impact of traumatic stress, uncertainty, combat, exhaustion, budget cuts, budget constraints and how the limitations on program availability have left a significant gap in the care for those who keep us safe. In our view, it’s not about what we do for these men and women after the fact, it’s about what we are doing now, when they need it most. This Foundation is designed to be in action, every day, educating, communicating, cultivating, training, developing and supporting those who are charged with keeping us safe.
IT’S NOT A ONE FOR ONE EXCHANGE
Our programs are not a one for one exchange. The learning, insights, awareness and actions that result when we deliver our programs are tremendous and far reaching. These worlds are built on trust, mentorship and sharing. One program with one department can and will have a ripple affect across the entire organization and to surrounding jurisdictions.
01. PREPARING MENTALLY
THE ABILITY TO PERFORM WELL UNDER EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES IS A COMPRISED OF MENTAL AGILITY AND PHYSIOLOGICAL AWARENESS. OUR PROGRAMS DELIVER THE NECESSARY INSIGHT EDUCATION AND APPLICABLE PROCESSES TO IMPROVE AWARENESS ACROSS ALL DOMAINS: THE SITUATION, THE ENVIRONMENT, OTHERS AND SELF.
UNDER STRESS THE BIOLOGICAL RESPONSE CHANGES CAN IMPEED COGNITIVE FUNCTION IN WAYS THAT LEFT UNKNOWN OR UNFAMILIAR, ADVANCE THE STRESS RESPONSE AND INHIBIT CRITICAL DECISION MAKING.
02. PREPARING PHYSICALLY
THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE ROLES THESE PEOPLE HAVE CHOSEN IS PHYSICALLY DEMANDING. FIGHTING FIRES, CHASING CRIMINALS, ENGAGING IN COMBAT OPERATIONS ALL REQUIRE A STAMINA AND PHYSICALITY FAR BEYOND THE AVERAGE PERSON.
BUT THE PHYSICAL GOES FAR BEYOND THE BASIC OPERATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS OF THE JOB. PHYSICALITY PROVIDES THE NECESSARY STAMINA, BANDWIDTH, COMFORT AND CONFIDENCE TO RESPOND TO AND RETURN FROM HIGH STRESS, CRITICAL INCIDENTS AND THE STRAIN OF COMBAT OPERATIONS. PHYSICAL WELLNESS IS A CORE COMPONENT OF HEALTH AND SURVIVABILITY BOTH ON AND OFF THE JOB.
03. PREPARING EMOTIONALLY
EMBEDDED INTO EVERY COURSE AND EVERY CONVERSATION IS THE NEED TO EXPAND ONES EMOTIONAL CAPACITY, AWARENESS AND INTELLIGENCE. STATISTICS HAVE PROVEN TIME AND AGAIN, THOSE THAT ARE MORE EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT, EMOTIONALLY STABLE AND CAPABLE OF EFFECTIVELY DEALING WITH THE EMOTIONAL TOLL OF THIER WORK, LIVE LONGER, ARE MORE EFFECTIVE AND PERFORM AT A HIGH LEVEL THEN THEIR COUNTERPARTS.
EMOTIONAL EXPANSION GIVES THESE MEN AND WOMEN THE ABILITY TO DEAL WITH THE CHALLENGES THEY FACE AND TRANSITION BACK TO A “NORMAL” ENVIRONMENT IN THE HEALTHIEST WAYS POSSIBLE.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
“Developing balanced and well rounded leaders that think critically and operate effectively in diverse and challenging environments is crucial to the success of SOF. Your perspective on organizational cultures and environments helped us achieve that task; empowering our young leaders to think beyond their current tactical focus... I am confident that they are better armed to meet our Nations unconventional challenges due in part to your efforts.”
-Darsie D. Rogers, Brigadier General, Commanding USASOC
"Where was this when I led people into harms way? This has to be the easiest, quickest, most well researched option on the market for fire departments, law enforcement, and the military I have ever seen. I retired for the second time and from the second fire department in 2006 as battalion fire chief. I swear if either department had this simple format, it would have been required reading for everyone on the department."
- Jeff Burriss Washington DC & National City, CA FD Retired
CHECK OUT OUR CAMPAIGNS
OPMINDSET is our online platform that provides high value content for our beneficiaries to utilize every day. Through articles, incident reviews, videos and other resources we are able to provide valuable information and critical knowledge where, when and how it serves our community best. Each component is designed to start a conversation, used as in-service training or provide valuable insight into how we operate. For us, mindset isn’t a narrative problem, it’s a math problem that CAN be solved!
Through our amazing partnership with Brute Force Training, 555 Fitness and other fitness focused organizations we are able to host a variety of events, share valuable insights and foster the understanding that the mind and body work as one. Health and Fitness lead to improved mental performance, mental clarity and improved decision making.
CHECK OUT OUR PARTNERS
Our think differently campaign is our grass-roots, on the ground effort to bring about a new level of performance across the military, fire service and law enforcement community. This is where we hit the ground, teach and bring forward conversations that ARE NOT being had throughout the communities we serve.
Make sure you join us @firehouseexpo2019 in Nashville, TN for our conversation: CRUCIAL MOMENTS, CRITICAL DECISIONS - a deep dive into why we make the decisions we make, when we make them.
TO BRING ONE OF OUR CAMPAIGNS TO YOUR ORGANIZATION OR TO FIND OUR HOW THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES WE PROVIDE CAN SUPPORT YOU, PLEASE FILL OUT OUR FORM AND A TEAM MEMBER WILL CONTACT YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE →
EARLY TRAINING. EARLY EDUCATION.
Across the United States the majority of Fire and Police agencies are small, localized departments with limited budgets and limited resources. Even in large cities, these organizations often suffer from a severe lack of funding for training and development of personnel outside the basic standards of practice deemed “necessary” by the policy makers.
The Operational Mindset Foundation has been established to fill the gaps of training, education, support and services when it comes to mentally, physically and emotionally preparing these men and woman BEFORE they are placed in harms way.
Our vision is to see mental preparation programs integrated as a core foundation of all early, mid-career and in-service training programs across the Fire Service, Law Enforcement Agencies, Emergency Medial Services, Emergency Management Services and the U.S. Military.
With your help, we can do this. We know the road ahead and the path to realizing our vision.
JEFFREY A. BANMAN
Founder - The Operational Mindset Foundation