About Red H.E.L.P.
It is the mission of Red H.E.L.P. to reduce mental health stigma through education, advocate for benefits for those suffering from post-traumatic stress, acknowledge the service and sacrifice and support the families of firefighters we lost to suicide, assist firefighters in their search for healing, lead policy makers and legislators toward necessary change, and to bring awareness to suicide and mental health issues within public safety.
Red H.E.L.P. was created for firefighters by fellow first responders and families in an effort to bring awareness to the issues of suicide and mental health stigma in their professions. In addition to collecting suicide data for firefighters, Red H.E.L.P. will support the families in the aftermath and advocate on their behalf.
Meet the Red H.E.L.P. Team
ASSISTANT PROGRAM DIRECTOR
After serving in the United Sates Marine Corps Rod Rifredi embarked on a career as a firefighter where he achieved the rank of Captain. Rod then moved to law enforcement where he served in several positions until his retirement from the Davis Police Department in 2018 at the rank of Sergeant after a total of 34 years of public safety service. For over 25 years Rod has been involved in training and has spent over 10 years traveling across the nation teaching officer safety courses. Rod has served on several California POST committees targeted towards officer’s safety through better driving policies and training.
Robyn Mikel is the widow of Firefighter Eric Mikel, a 14-year veteran with the Alameda County Fire Department who took his life on June 24th, 2019, just one month short of their 20-year wedding anniversary. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Robyn received her bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Cal State East Bay. Her career began in Advertising, but she ultimately found her passion in the technology industry where she spent nearly 20 years with assignments ranging from training to project management. Through the experience of losing her daughter who was stillborn at 36 weeks she really began the process of understanding her own mental health struggles and the toll it takes on the entire family. The feeling of powerlessness in helping her husband overcome depression and the job-related PTSD that ultimately led to his suicide has compelled her to focus her life toward seeking opportunities to advocate for better services and support for first responders and their families. She is currently a stay-at-home mom caring for and being the best role-model she can be for their young son, Donovan.
Eric is a retired combat veteran with 20 years of military service. He spent his entire career working in Special Operation Units and went onto serve with the premier units within the Joint Special Operations Command. During his second tour to Afghanistan in 2002 Eric was involved in a firefight that left mental scars and left him suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
In 2017, Eric’s struggle with PTSD became too much for him and he became suicidal. With the support of his wife, he began the long road to getting help for the first time. Fueled by his experiences, a year later, Eric, along with his wife, founded the nonprofit organization Making Everything Good (M.E.G.) to assist and support the needs of individuals, families, and organizations associated with public safety, military, veterans, and their local community. In 2019 he started Denny’s Got My 6, where he speaks and presents about facing the challenges associated with first responder mental health and suicide prevention.
Adam is a full-time firefighter paramedic who knows first hand the weight of mental health challenges. He was the lead logistics manager for the 22 and You project which helped open the conversation around mental health in the fire service. He is also the father of six wonderful kids, and happily married to his lovely wife, Shawnelle.