By Karen Hurley and Claudia Piano
The Female First Responders Alliance (FFRA) is the brainchild and collaboration of Phoenix Fire Department Crisis Response Volunteer Karen Hurley and Retired Phoenix Police Officer Claudia Piano. While attending classes at TruHit Fitness, we shared our passion for public safety and enjoyed discussing the challenges and fun of doing this work. During these conversations, we became aware of the lack of resources available for women in fire, police, communications and health care.
The mission of the FFRA is to provide women with a place to come together and learn about holistic ways to support themselves and their families through monthly educational workshops on different topics and disciplines. The workshop format includes spiritual elements and an activity that can be applied and integrated into one’s life. The workshops address not only what we are doing, but how we are doing things, so that we may simplify and integrate holistic and spiritual practices to support ourselves and our families on and off the job. FFRA creates a larger community for female first responders to learn and discuss topics that are specific to our needs in a safe, authentic and fun way. It is our goal to empower women to enhance their skills, tools and knowledge for greater wellness, balance and wholeness. We are passionate about creating a place that is informative and creative, and releases the need to be politically correct and “on duty.”
The workshops are 90 minutes long and include time for exchanging ideas, feedback and snacks. As a CR volunteer, Karen knows the value and love of snacks! Claudia also has a background in catering and her brownies are amazing.
Due to the nature of shift work, the monthly workshops are offered on different days and at different times so that those who may be at work one month may attend another month. The space for the workshops is graciously donated by owner Melissa Hile of TruHit Fitness — Paradise Valley, located at 3375 E. Shea Blvd. on the southeast corner of Shea Blvd. and the SR-51. February’s workshop featured guest speaker Allison Pachasa, who educated us about massage cupping and ways to alleviate pain, increase mobility and enhance our beauty routines.
For upcoming event announcements and updates, follow Coaching with a Karen on Instagram and Facebook (@coachingwithakaren). Please sign up via the QR code on the monthly flyer to ensure we have enough snacks! We look forward to seeing you at future workshops.