Clinical Director and Founder
Rick Baker, has been providing evidence-based behavioral health services to first responders and responder agencies in North Carolina since 2007. He is the current Clinical Director of the Western North Carolina Peer Support Network, providing oversight of and post-critical incident services to first responders, across all disciplines, in North Carolina’s 22 westernmost counties. Rick is one of only 3 clinicians the Department of the Interior contracts with to provide post-critical incident care to our 26,000 wildland firefighters and wildland law enforcement personnel throughout the nation and the Caribbean. He’s a researcher on first responder suicide and has lectured nationally and locally on that topic. He founded Responder Support Services, Inc. (RSS), to provide a broad range of clinical and non-clinical services to first responders, responder agencies, county/local governments, and the federal government. Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, Buncombe EMS, Mitchell County Emergency, City of Asheville Police and Fire and Rutherford County are among the regional agencies and counties that utilize embedded behavioral health, clinical oversight of internal peer support, and other services provided by Rick and the RSS staff. Rick is on the State of North Carolina CISM Advisory Committee, working to expand peer support to all agencies and departments across the state. Rick is also fully credentialed with the 911 World Trade Center Health Program. He’s also participating in a 1 year train-the-trainer program at Emory University on Prolonged Exposure therapy, the gold standard treatment for PTSD in first responders and military veterans.