I've been to civilian treatment three times, and every time I was treated like a number, not a person. FRF is different—it's a family and a fellowship and people who care. The staff is what sets FRF apart.
— R.H., Firefighter
Dr. Wehrle has helped patients suffering from addiction for many years. He graduated with honors from the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1987. Dr. Wehrle completed his medical internship in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine and his Residency in Anesthesiology at USC where his peers chose him Chief Resident. Dr. Wehrle has worked in the addiction treatment field since 1991 and has treated thousands of patients with polysubstance abuse and coexisting disorders that required expertise in management of pre-operative, intraoperative and post-operative care. He is Board Certified in both Addiction Medicine and Anesthesiology. He has earned the distinction to be selected as a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Wehrle employs evidence based medications and protocols to safely detox and stabilize patients suffering from addiction. Dr. Wehrle is happily married to Lissa Wehrle and is the proud father of four grown sons.
Eric Rivas is a retired police sergeant with 29 years of service in the Southern California area. He’s worked an array of assignments including patrol, undercover narcotics, gang detective and patrol supervisor. Eric currently facilitates the supervisor course at the Criminal Justice Training Center for Goldenwest College. He is also the sitting president for Blue Anchor Wellness, a non-profit that provides mental wellness resources for first responders. Having worked in law enforcement as well as side by side with firefighters and other first responders, Eric brings a passion for their wellness and has joined our team with the goal of helping save those who sacrifice for so many.
Born and raised in California, Stan Sorensen survived some turbulent childhood experiences including physical, emotional and sexual abuse; school trauma; and then the ravages of active duty in the US Navy during the Viet Nam war. Upon discharge from the Navy, he found himself lost, alone and deeply depressed, living in a foreign country suffering with serious bouts of hopelessness and despair. Alcohol and isolation seemed to be his only relief from pain. Fortunately for Stan, he read a book on recovery that inspired him to seek sobriety and healing, which then led to a career as a mental health professional. For the past 50 years, Stan’s journey from despair has taken him through a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Sophia University in Tokyo; a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and licensure as a MFT in California; 10 years of practice in an acute care hospital; 6 years overseeing residential treatment for children and adults; 10 years of work in psychosocial rehabilitation; and 9 years of creating and directing a healing center for adults recovering from childhood abuse and other life traumas with an emphasis on holistic treatment, integrating treatment of mental, substance, and physical disorders.
Mr. Maxwell joins “First Responders First” with over 23 years experience as a sworn law enforcement officer. He also is a member of the Crisis Negotiation Team, Peer-Support on the Officer Involved Shooting Team and currently serves as a part of the Mental Evaluation Team (MET). Having served for eight years in the United States Air Force, this First Responder is now a mental health therapist who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral therapy. This highly-effective treatment seeks to educate the patient on how negative thoughts (Cognitive Distortions) are the cause of most mood disorders.
Having earned her Registered Nursing degree from Antelope Valley College in June of 2015, Wendy has a passion for mental health nursing and specializes in drug rehabilitation. Prior to becoming an RN, she worked as a LVN in the “ambulatory care” field. For the past three years, she has been a nurse for the “Department of Corrections” and has been continuing her education with the goal of earning her Masters Degree in Nursing Science. “I believe the role of a registered nurse in a recovery center is vital. Offering the patient physical care, education, guidance and resources in the initial process of alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation is essential for a lifelong journey toward recovery”.
Earning her degree in nursing from Antelope Valley College in 2015, Maricella has been working as a registered nurse with the “Department of Corrections” for the past three years. Her passion for nursing and “recovery” has brought her to the First Responders First team where she has used her skills to make a difference in the lives of First Responders and their families. Maricella is currently furthering her education and will soon become a Nurse Practitioner!
Ingrid learned to cook with her mother and grandmother. No matter what the dietary restrictions, she feeds the Residents at FRF like they're family too—because found family counts too.
Born on November 10th, 2010 in Hollywood, California, “Cutty” was destined for fame. His incredible good looks and his charismatic personality made him a natural for stardom. Today, “Cutty” serves as our official mascot and his profile has become the logo for First Responders First.