MEET OUR DEDICATED TEAM 

The National First Responders Fund was founded on the idea of becoming a trusted source of resources and assistance dedicated to every first responder with a touch-point to emergency incidents. From the dispatcher to every man or woman that is called to the scene, first responders are there for us on our worst day, and we vow to be there for them on theirs.

Joe was drawn to the cause of helping first responders early in his life. It wasn't until his service as a San Francisco Fire Commissioner did he truly understand the gaps in front-line services to our first responders throughout the State of California and nation-wide. Joe and his wife, Julie founded the organization with the help of Doug, Greg, John, and hundreds of volunteers who were drawn to helping the dedicated men and women who've chosen the profession of being first responders. They're just a phone call away on our worst day and we need to be there for them on theirs. 

CO-FOUNDER

JOE ALIOTO VERONESE 

Joe has been exposed to first responders and their causes for over two decades. He began his career as a Reserve Police Officer at the San Francisco Police Department after graduating from the Los Angeles County Police Academy where he obtained his California Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T) certification. He then received another P.O.S.T certificate as the President of the 185th class of the San Francisco Police Academy. He served for nearly five years with the San Francisco District Attorney's Criminal Investigations Bureau culminating in his promotion to Senior Criminal Investigator. He was appointed as San Francisco Police Commissioner for a four-year term by Mayor Gavin Newsom. Joe served seven (7) years as an appointee of the California Senate to the California Criminal Justice Commission, advising then Governor Schwarzenegger on criminal justice policy and acting as a funding agency for federal criminal justice funds to the State of California. Joe currently serves on the California Senate's International Relations Foundation.

Additionally, he serves as Fire Commissioner to the San Francisco Fire Department as an appointee of the late Mayor of San Francisco, Edwin M. Lee.Joe received a Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco in 2000 and practices as a trial attorney and corporate/general counsel to small and mid-size companies.
 

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Julie has always had a special interest in mental health. For the past 15 years, she has personally offered financial assistance and obtained community support for individuals and families in their times of need, especially during untimely or traumatic life events. After Joe was appointed to the Fire Commission in 2017, he learned the personal stories of firefighters and first responders and shared their struggles with Julie. Together, Joe and Julie continued to educate themselves on the stories and statistics of first responders effected by PTSD. 

CO-FOUNDER

JULIE VERONESE 

Over 95% of first responders will experience a traumatic event during the course of their career and over 35% suffer from PTSD. They realized there was a need to provide funding and support to those that risk their lives on a daily basis for their communities.

 

In September of 2017, The San Francisco Stair Climb served as the first event and launch of the National First Responders Fund (NFRF).  The fund was created with the intention to not only support San Francisco first responders but expand mental health services throughout California and nationwide.

Doug was drawn to the National First Responders Fund and supporting first responders when he was approached to help publicize the 2017 San Francisco Stair Climb. As Doug gained knowledge of the traumatic stress injuries first responders bear he knew he wanted to help provide support. First responders experience tragedies on a daily basis that the rest of us don't want to experience in our lifetime. The NFRF was formed to assist our heroes and help them navigate the path to the support they deserve for healing and thriving.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

DOUG HARVILL

Doug Harvill has dedicated 29 years to a career in broadcast media, most recently the Senior Vice President and Market (General) Manager for CBS Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area including the flagship all-news radio station KCBS. Doug has a dynamic history of growing ratings and revenue in the broadcasting industry. He is skilled in driving revenue in traditional media as well as through unique sponsorship opportunities, digital platforms, concerts, events and experiences. He looks forward to bringing those skills to scaling the NFRF to a world-class organization serving our first responders. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

As a San Francisco Firefighter, Greg was drawn to the cause of helping first responders through his own personal experiences. Greg is a co-founder of the San Francisco First Responder's Stair Climb event. Greg provides valuable insight to the team having been in the situation himself as a first responder seeking help. He joined the National First Responders Fund to help first responders who are suffering in silence. His goal is to help pull them out from the shadows and into the light to reclaim their lives. 

SFFD, FIREFIGHTER

GREG COLLACO

Greg is a first-generation San Franciscan born to immigrant parents that came from China who taught him hard work, gratitude, loyalty and the importance of community. Greg joined the San Francisco Fire Department in 2000 to fulfill his dream to assist people and serve them in their hour of greatest need. Through his exposure to on-the-job critical incidents, Greg sought out assistance to help him with post traumatic stress injuries (PTSI). It was here that Greg discovered major gaps in services to first responders suffering in silence from PTS. In 2009, Greg began organizing stair climbs as a way to raise awareness for firefighters who gave the ultimate sacrifice and those left behind from critical incidents. In the spring of 2017, Greg invited San Francisco Fire Commissioner, Joe Alioto Veronese to join him in climbing 1,197 stairs. It was there that the idea was born to create an organization to not only raise awareness, but to raise funds that could break down the barriers that directly impact the lives of first responders. Greg's fundraising efforts have benefitted many first responders and their families. Greg continues his work as a peer-supporter to first responders on their path to a better life.

John's experiences with the San Francisco Fire Department Stress Unit are the most rewarding experience of his career. John is trusted with the role of supporting his brothers and sisters in their times of greatest need. He was drawn to the National First Responders Fund because of the opportunity to use fundraising dollars to help a greater number of fist responders. John leads the Stress Unit of the 1,400-member San Francisco Fire Department. As a first responder to his peers, John responds to calls for assistance from active duty and retired Fire Department Members and their families at all times of the day and night.

FIREFIGHTER- PARAMEDIC

JOHN CHRISTY

John began his career as a first responder in 1980. When he was 18 years old. John completed Paramedic school and was acknowledged as the youngest-trained Paramedic in the State of California at that time. By 1981, John began working for the San Francisco Department of Public Health Paramedic Division, and continued as a Paramedic and Acting Paramedic Supervisor through the merger with the San Francisco Fire Department in 1997 where he worked as a Paramedic Captain. John cross-trained as a Firefighter, and by August of 2000, was one of the first Firefighter Paramedics the Fire Department cross trained from the Health Department Paramedics. Over the course of his 36-year career, John has been called to thousands of medical and fire emergencies, witnessed and engaged in countless incidents associated with working in a metropolitan city, such as; gang-violence, homelessness, and multi-casualty incidents.
Like some of his peers, John was affected by the devastation and suffering he was exposed to on the job, eventually experiencing severe symptoms of PTSD. Facing that challenge and recovering from those symptoms has forever changed the course of John’s involvement in Emergency Services. There's an understanding that those that call for assistance know that John has faced a similar challenge. As a respected leader within the fire department, John is known for his calm presence and ability to lead with direction.

Carlye was part of a dedicated team from San Diego, CA that assisted the National First Responders Fund with our first San Francisco First Responders Stair Climb in 2017. Carlye fell fast in love with the work the NFRF is doing. Carlye currently serves as the Director of Development at FirefighterAid, a San Diego-based nonprofit that aids firefighters and their families in need. She is also the event coordinator for the San Diego 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb event. She sees a lot of the same parallels in San Diego and San Francisco when it comes to assisting first responders in their times of crisis and distress. Carlye is our cheerleader from afar.

NFRF FRIEND

CARLYE WUND

Carlye graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with BA in Advertising and a minor in Photography. In 2015, Carlye attended the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy Fundraising Academy and graduated from their first ever cohort. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and volunteers at the San Diego National Philanthropy Day. Carlye continues to work her passion of assisting firefighters in San Diego and helps us when she has time. 

Help our team help our First Responders today!