Certification Overview

Certification Length: 41 Hours
Certification is valid for: 24 Months
Continuing Education Credits: 40


Why the ERPSCC™?

Public safety agencies across the nation and around the world are increasingly seeking out mechanisms to impact the well-being of their personnel, including finding qualified, culturally competent clinicians. The National Emergency Responder and Public Safety Center meets this need head-on with the first standardized certification process for licensed clinicians of all degree levels. This certification provides comprehensive and specialized knowledge for clinicians who are interested in working with the responder population and includes foundational and relevant topics, from critical incident response to relationship and family dynamics, and diversity challenges facing our nation’s responders. Those clinicians who successfully complete the program will be nationally recognized as an Emergency Responder and Public Safety Certified Clinician (ERPSCC™), proving their increased specialization, competency, and dedication to our nation’s brave responders.

ERPSCC Handbook

Key Benefits of the ERPSCC™ Program:

  • Provides identification through certification as a “culturally competent mental health professional"

  • Builds trust in treatment and enhances credibility of clinicians for those emergency responder and public safety personnel seeking mental health support

  • Reduces liability and risks associated with self-identified, perhaps well meaning, but under informed mental health clinicians

  • Provides agencies and municipalities the opportunity to require this advanced level of credentialing from their healthcare, behavioral health, and/or EAP providers who will be working with their personnel

  • Allows clinicians master’s level and above to obtain quality education from subject matter experts, to engage in structured experiential learning, to benefit from mentoring relationships, and to be acknowledged for their specialization and commitment to working with this population in our national directory

Your ERPSCC™ Instructors:

Jaime Brower, Psy.D., ABPP

Dr. Jaime Brower has devoted herself to serving emergency responders and their loved ones for more than 20 years. The breadth of her professional experience includes work with law enforcement, fire, corrections/detentions, EMS, dispatch, victim advocates, military, probation/parole, and other associated professionals. Dr. Brower supports more than 150 agencies nationally at local, state, and federal levels by offering public safety related services, including counseling services, peer support team development, training and oversight, critical incident response, psychological testing and evaluations, both organizational and operational consultation, and threat and risk assessment. Dr. Brower is American Board Certified in Police & Public Safety Psychology (ABPPSP) and currently serves on the ABPPSP Board, as its Academy President.

Rhonda Kelly

Rhonda served as an EMT in the Antarctic, as well as a career and volunteer EMT in Colorado. She spent 17 years as a firefighter/paramedic and worked part time as an ER and Psych ER nurse. During the last few years of her career as a firefighter, she accepted the role of Health & Safety Officer, building out a behavioral health program for the agency. In 2016, she founded ResponderStrong (an initiative to improve mental health support for responders and their families) and continues to serve as its Executive Director. As a master trainer, she works with the Center for Relationship Education to conduct relationship and communication skills training specific to responder families. Currently, she also serves as the National Director of Health, Wellness, and Resilience for Global Medical Response, the largest EMS organization in the world.

Michael Pitrusu

Mike Pitrusu is a sergeant with a major city agency of 746 sworn officers that provides comprehensive police services to a diverse city of 374,000 residents. He has served as the Executive Officer to the Chief of Police and leads the department’s Employee Support and Wellness Unit (ESWU). During his 20-year law enforcement career, Sergeant Pitrusu has been assigned to the Patrol Division as a Patrol and Community Resource officer, and the Special Operations Bureau as a Special Weapons and Tactics Team Leader, Sniper, and Sergeant. However, his current assignment within the Employee Support and Wellness Unit has been the most rewarding of his distinguished career.

Emily Hitchings

Now the Director of Agency Partnerships and Programming at NERPSC, Emily was a police officer for nearly 17 years. As the employee support officer, she led their peer support team and managed wellness programs for her department. Emily is recognized state-wide for her work and has been pivotal in helping build wellness programs for departments of all sizes across the country. Emily is a certified financial master coach and a responder curriculum instructor for the Center for Relationship Education (CRE). This curriculum teaches responders effective communication skills that can benefit their personal and professional relationships. She is also currently working on a MA in counseling, to assist emergency responders through therapy, crisis response, and trauma treatment.

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