Our Impact

The funds raised through our Ride For The Blue event goes towards mental health and resiliency training for Ventura County First Responders.  Check out some of the programs we are supporting.

Retirement Transition Training – November 2023

In November we hosted 10 Ventura County first responders and spouses to attend a retirement 
transition training:

Research shows that approximately one in ten retirees report suicidal ideation, and one in four suffer from significant life dissatisfaction, mood, and relationship issues. This course was developed to focus on mental health and wellness in pre-retirement and into early retirement to reduce depression, improve socialization, and focus on relationship functioning issues. 

This is not just another retirement presentation that solely focuses on financial wellness. This is a retirement resilience course that provides tools to help you rediscover identity, purpose, security, and acceptance into retirement in order to improve quality of life adaptation and make the unknown known. When one door closes, another one opens!

Training Objectives

  • How to remove the “super-suit” and rediscover yourself without your occupation
  • Examine aspects of security in your transition and adaptation to civilian life
  • Explore ways to accept change, cope with abandonment and replacement, and find belonging elsewhere in order to reduce risk of suicide
  • Find new purpose by staying busy, doing engaging activities and occupations in order to improve life satisfaction
  • Identify signs of relational and mental health issues, and learn ways to access appropriate support

First Responder Resiliency and Critical Incident Mindset Training – April 2024

Over 100 First Responders from Ventura County will be participating in this training.

The Sergeant Ron Helus Ride for the Blue is proud to be the sponsor of this free resiliency training event exclusively for Ventura County First Responders. Josh Bitsko was one of three officers to breach the door and make entry into the suspect’s room during the 1-October Massacre in 2017 in Las Vegas (the largest mass shooting incident in US history to date), Josh knows the feelings police officers are taught to feel, and the feelings he actually felt during that incident.

Fear, anxiety, and uncertainty are REAL, yet seldom talked about in the law enforcement and first responder community. If we are not honest with our first responders about the reality of what their emotions will be IN the moment, they will struggle to manage those emotions not only in the moment, but the years after. Josh is passionate about his goal of “Preparing your workforce FOR the moment, IN the moment!”

Because of this experience, as well as many others over the course of his career, Josh provides training for law enforcement and first responders that addresses:

  • The intense emotions you’ll experience before, during, and after responding to a critical incident.
  • Coping strategies (backed by data science) first responders can employ in the moment of a critical incident.
  • Coping strategies post-incident.
  • Ways law enforcement and first responder agencies can improve the wellness of their workforce post incident, and how agencies can minimize the impact of internal stressors on the workforce.