Responder Resilience, August 30, 2023
Guest, Kathryn Severns Avery, Founder and Executive Director, Restoration Ranch Colorado
Join us for a powerful episode of Responder Resilience premiering on Wednesday. Hear the inspiring story of Kathryn Severns Avery, a courageous individual who turned grief into action by creating Restoration Ranch Colorado, a serene retreat for first responders and their families. Don't miss this incredible journey of compassion and support, to give back to those that selflessly serve the public.
Across our nation first responder agencies are stretched dangerously thin. The difficult, demanding, and dangerous work they do is causing burnout at a record pace. When my husband, Chris, was killed in 2020 by robbery suspects fleeing from Lakewood police, I knew nothing about this world. My interactions consisted of a few well-deserved speeding tickets. But the kindness and compassion I experienced after Chris’ death and what I learned by creating an ongoing relationship with those who serve, protect, and care for us in our worst moments inspired me to act.
In 2021, I founded Restoration Ranch Colorado a 501(c)(3). In 2022, I used my own funds to purchase and renovate a 40-acre ranch where dispatchers, first responders, emergency department personnel, members of the Judiciary, and their families can come for a day visit or an overnight stay. This serene setting provides a place for reflection, relaxation, and recreation and a place to care for those who care for us. To those in the first responder community who are still suspicious and skeptical, I get it. You’re not used to a community member doing something of this magnitude to support agencies and organizations involved in what I call “the traumatic event lifecycle.” Over the last two years, I’ve put $1.25 million of my own money into this endeavor and have followed through on every commitment I’ve made to create a place of respite for you and your families. My staff and I are committed to making believers out of you.
Why am I doing this? I was not able to be with my husband when he died at the crash scene. But those I call “my first responder angels” were with him as he took his last breath. That is why I created the Ranch – to give back to those that selflessly serves the public in circumstances that can be unimaginable.