Hello and welcome to the De-Escalation Conversations Podcast. In this Episode, we'll be sharing what to expect in the coming episodes and what this Podcast is all about!
IDEA - the International De-Escalation Association, is dedicated to Saving Lives, Reputations, & Relationships through Conflict De-Escalation & Communication Training for Teachers, Parents, and Public Safety Providers.
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Diane: Hello and welcome! I'm Diane Halfman...
Kerry: And I'm Kerry Mensior.
Diane: We're your hosts for the De-Escalation Conversations Podcast! First, thank you for taking the time to find your way here, HOWEVER you did that! There are TONS of ways to find us – the IDEA website, on YouTube and Facebook in video format and for the folks that want the audio versions, you’ll find us on all the platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, even Amazon Alexa!
Kerry: If I were you, I’d have a bunch of questions! I’d want to know things like – Who is this for? Who are YOU two? Is this going to be worth my time? Will it be fun? Will I learn something new or is it the same old stuff? Who are the guests going to be? What sort of things are going to be covered? When will the episodes drop? Can I have input on future shows? If I make a comment, will anyone read it?
Diane: Dang, Kerry! That's a lot of questions they have! Let's dive in! Who’s this podcast for? That’s easy – if you’re a law enforcement officer, you’ll feel right at home! If you’re an educator in Kindergarten thru 12th grade, a Firefighter, you work in HEALTHCARE at any level, an EMT, a nurse, a doctor, if you’re in the military or a veteran, a Flight Attendant on ANY airline or a Security Specialist, you’ll find LOTS of valuable insights here!
Kerry: If you’re a business owner, you’ll find tons of things that we call TRANSFERABLE SKILLS. The same mindset, the same skillset, the same heartset can help YOU deal with all of the challenges you face with clients and co-workers and FAMILY too! Our discussions are designed to be 360 - all around, everywhere you are, at work, at play and ESPECIALLY, at home.
Diane: You're definitely wondering... Who is this Kerry guy?!
Kerry: I’ve been SO blessed to have filled EVERY role as a First Responder. I left home at 17, joined the Navy and served on nuclear submarines, completing 8 deployments. This was during the Cold War and it was crazy as we hunted Russian submarines and other ships. I had lot's of adventures being on submarines including NEARLY being killed in a maintenance accident - I'll share THAT one at some point soon!
I joined the fire department because, well my Dad had been a Fire Chief, my brothers were Junior Firefighters and I felt like I grew up at our Firehouse. I did that for about 5 years, first on a department in South Carolina where I was promoted to Engineer. I was also working on the County EMS ambulance at the same time. After moving to San Diego, I was immediately hired by another fire department and got my CA EMT certification and then became an ER Technician. THEN...I did a fateful thing... I went on a ride along with San Diego PD and I was... HOOKED! The next thing I knew, I was in the Police Academy and out on the streets!
I retired a short time ago as a Sgt with San Diego PD after spending 30 years in Law Enforcement. During my career I worked every patrol division in the City, spent 14 years as a Detective, worked several undercover assignments, flew in the helicopter as a TFO, a Tactical Flight Officer, was a Collision Reconstructionist and was also on our Peer Support Team for over 22 years. Now our Peer Support Team had very strict criteria – you could not be on the Team unless someone died as the direct result of your actions.
Most of us had been in an OIS – an Officer Involved Shooting. I’ve been in TWO fatal shootings. I’ve used EVERY level of force on the Use of Force continuum – several times! Please KNOW that my passion for safety, my passion for De-Escalation, my passion for saving lives, comes from my experiences living and BREATHING this stuff. It leaves a strong impact on you when you take someone's life and I've been forced to do that twice.
My work was pretty well recognized. I’ve received over 150 informal commendations and 19 more formal awards including two different awards for saving lives. I’m proud to say that I’ve saved more lives than I’ve taken! Now... you're likely thinking... Who is this very quiet and even more BEAUTIFUL Lady, Diane?!
Diane: I'm a native San Diegan. My family has been here since the 1920's. I got my Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice at San Diego State, thinking I was was going the attorney route. In my senior year of college I realized I didn't want to do the tedious work of shepardizing, which is a fancy term for case law research.
I had classmates heading to the police academy that encouraged me to apply. I passed with flying colors and was in the SDPD academy 3 months later! After graduating, I was the only woman on my squad because there wasn't many of us on the Department back then.
I worked uniform patrol as well as a lot undercover assignments in gangs, narcotics and vice. My most involved work was as an undercover prostitute hunting a serial killer. I'll get into THOSE stories later! After 10 years on the job, I was forced to retire after a horrible training accident. Even after I got my Master's Degree in Human Resources, people would always ask me to share my police stories and I began to realize that I had a pretty unique perspective that I could bring to the civilian world.
So, I created my company called SPAlife. The SPA in SPAlife stands for Seek Power Always - that divine power within you to do your deeper work in the world. Through both SPAlife and IDEA, I'm a Consultant and Trainer that helps entrepreneurs and company leaders move through crisis, manage boundaries, make quicker decisions and of course teach de-escalation skills along with better communication tools.
I have two grown daughters and 5 grandchildren who've given me the life experience to manage a lot of different personalities with a LOT of multitasking between a LOT of different hats from Mom to Cop to Business Leader!
Kerry: MMMMMM! You are just AWESOME! So... enough about US! How about whether or not this PODCAST is going to be worth your time?
Without QUESTION it definitely will be! Not because of us… but because of the AMAZING people who’ve agreed to give THEIR time to you to help YOU!
Diane: Another questions we get asked is, Will it be fun? We’re gonna have a BLAST! We've enjoyed every interview we’ve done so far and we won't have anyone on the show that doesn’t bring laughter with them! Now, there'll be a few tears shed along the way, I gotta warn you because we get DEEP with our guests and they reveal some really personal things that'll touch your very soul!
Kerry: If you're wondering if you'll learn something new or is this is gonna be the SAME old stuff? And, who's gonna be the guests? There's an amazing lineup of people – law enforcement trainers like Gordon Graham, Lt. Col David Grossman, folks from ILEETA, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Assoc, like Brian Willis, Harvey Heddon, and we'll also be featuring K-12 Teachers who are experts at dealing with misbehavior in schools and Flight Attendants who are highly skilled at De-Escalation at 37,000 feet! Firefighters, Medics and nurses who know what it's like to have combative patients and uncooperative family members.
Diane: You've asked, What sort of things are going to be covered? We're focusing on a few select topics... of course the main one is De-Escalation.... but we'll also be taking some time to discuss what we call Tactical TLC topics - Training, Leadership and Communication!
Kerry: What about, When will the episodes drop?! There'll be a new episode each week, going live every Monday morning at 6am Pacific.
Diane: If your thinking, Can I have input on future shows? Absolutely, YES! If you have someone who could provide tons of value for our listeners, and maybe that someone is YOU, DEFINITELY let us know about people who should be a guest on our show!
Kerry: We've been asked, If I make a comment, will anyone read it? 100%! In fact we WANT you to make comments... and... rate and review and subscribe to the show! Smack that little bell so you get reminded when a new episode goes live! Any suggestions for content that you want to hear and explore and learn about, Diane and I are open to hearing EVERYONE's perspective! If you agree with what we said and want to add another thought or more information, maybe you DISagree, you think we, or a guest, is OFF point, if you think there’s another perspective that needs to be looked at and discussed, LET US KNOW!
Diane: We PERSONALLY read all of the comments and we'll be responding to them as well!
Kerry: So, YEAH! Whew! Ya' know, our listeners had sommmmme reallllly GREAT questions!
Diane: Definitely! As we go forward into exploring these De-Escalation, training, communication, and relationship topics, talking to people, getting insight from experts, please know there is ONE goal that we have – making life for YOU better, EASIER and SAFER!
Our focus is bringing YOU the topics and tips and tricks and hints and hacks, things that we wish WE knew when we were on the streets! Our careers were amazing and when we look back, we’ve been so incredibly blessed. AND YET... it would’ve been even MORE amazing and LESS stressful if we knew back then, some of the things that we know NOW!
Kerry: We need your help in doing this Podcast! Seriously… we KNOW we can’t do this just by ourselves! We WANT YOUR input! We NEED YOUR input! We're asking for you to co-create this WITH us! The last thing I want to mention is something that I say on a somewhat regular basis.
It’s a phrase that one of my mentors used to close our line-ups, the squad briefings at the beginning of the shift, before we went into the field. It’s a play on the Golden rule, you know “Do unto others as you would have THEM do unto you.” What Sgt. Jim would say, and what I adopted, was a classic cop twist on that Golden Rule. Do unto others before they even THINK about doing unto you!
I’ve been told that it could be mis-understood and taken in a wrong way. Part of me rebels and wants to say, well screw you then! If you don’t get it, then that’s too bad!
Diane: The phrase is MEANT to remind you to be on your toes, to not WAIT to get hurt before you take action, to pay ATTENTION at ALL times! We ALL know that Action beats REEaction and as cops and teachers and firefighters and medics and flight attendants, when we get assaulted, we’re automatically on the BAD side, the WRONG side of the reaction gap.
Kerry: The saying is meant to remind you to be safe, to stay on your toes, to not sacrifice personal safety for fear of offending someone… along with making you laugh!
So for anyone who would try to misconstrue this, I’ll tell you right now, I’ve explained it and don’t you DARE try to twist anything to try and fit your agenda!
Teachers and First Responders need to stay safe, to come home at the end of the shift with the same number of holes in their body as they BEGAN their shift, no extras and the same number of bruises as at the beginning of the shift!
Diane: All right… we’ll put the PRE-EMPTIVE Soapbox off to the side and tell you that, yes… sometimes we both get pretty passionate about Teacher's and First Responder’s safety and making sure that YOU, the folks that put their lives on the line, know syou have our respect and gratitude!
Kerry: And.. by the same token, we're equally passionate about having First Responders treat the public with the care and respect that you would want another Teacher or First Responder to give to one of YOUR family members in any situation.
Diane: Well… That’s IT for this first episode! We covered a LOT and we look forward to seeing your ratings and comments about the other episodes as well as this one!
Kerry: Dive right into the other episodes, enjoy and soak up the wisdom our guests bring each week! Until next time… as always... STAY SAFE!
Diane & Kerry: Bye for now!