Hand selected experts in fitness, specializing in working with First Responders. Our team is highly trained and experienced, certified or degreed to guide you with effective methods for your specific goals.

1:1 Personalized Coaching for First Responders and their Families

Meet the Fit Responder Team

Ted & Emily Stern

Founders of the Fit Responder Program: I met my wife Emily while we both worked for the same Sheriff’s Office. At that time, I was 40+lbs overweight with high-blood pressure. Even though we were both experienced personal trainers and dedicated Deputies, I was failing at my own fitness while she was succeeding. She showed me some powerful methods to lose fat and build serious muscle. My transformation from fat to fit (and healthy) inspired many others on our department. We began sharing our methods and started coaching others, and created so many success stories that we decided to become professional fitness coaches full time. We created the Fit Responder Program, retired and left our Law Enforcement careers to help others achieve their ultimate fitness goals. Since then, we have made a huge impact on countless lives and have no plans to stop!

Dustin Simmons


Ex-Deputy/Narcotics officer out of Texas

NCSF Certified PT instructor

I have been down the road from obese to fit. Learned from struggles I’ve had in the past to be successful in life and in fitness. Joined as a consumer of Fit Responder in 2020. I enjoy helping, teaching and motivating people in this area of their life. I am a Certified personal trainer through NCSF and enjoying every minute of it.

Currently I’m the General manager of Fit Responder. I have a small number of clients and I help train the other coaches to ensure that we are giving the best possible service to our clients! In 2021 I left Law Enforcement to pursue this career, and to help my brothers and sisters that are first responders!In 2022 Ted challenged me to step on stage with him, although I still thought it was never possible, I put the work in and got it done. I stepped on stage and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had, and will likely compete again!

I have been 300 lbs before at 5’8, I know how hard it may look, but all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other one step at a time, take control of your own life and destiny you deserve it. I have a family, 2 beautiful boys that are eating me out of house and home, and a wife that is putting us all three to the test on the daily (lol love you) my passion for this is like no other, you will not find a more passionate person in this realm. – Get ya some!”

Luke Leinweber

USAW Level 1 Sports Performance

CrossFit Level 2

Fitness has been a huge part of my life in every way! From the high school weight room, to playing professional rugby, to being a busy husband and Dad, fitness has always played a major role. I love how fitness can always evolve and change to whatever people’s goals are, and there is never a time that is too late to start!

I love being a part of the Fit Responder family. I love being able to support people in their journeys and help guide them to a healthy sustainable future so they can be their best both on the job, and at home

Tara Dalley



Precision Nutrition L1

CrossFit L1 for 5 years

TRX Certified

Yoga Teacher – YTT (200) Feb. 2023

Former EMT

I grew up as an active kid. I was a cheerleader and a gymnast and we skied almost every weekend! I remember on days that I would come home super hungry and I would eat half a block of cream cheese. I had no idea what healthy food was, what a diet was, or how to fuel my body correctly.

Fast forward to 2005 and I got pregnant with my first son and gained 80 lbs. I remember I hated standing up in the morning because my feet hurt so bad from carrying all the weight. I did Atkins (yes, I’m old) and lost all the weight in 6 months. Although it was effective for me, I felt like there had to be a better way…..cue in all the diets known to man. I tried everything, and not necessarily because I wanted to lose weight, but because I wanted to find something sustainable. It wasn’t until I found CrossFit and paleo, and then macros, that I finally realized that anything can really be eaten in moderation. Finding that balance has led to years of pushing and stretching my limits to see what my body is actually capable of.

I spent 5 years as a CrossFit coach and competitive lifter. I love every second of coaching people and helping them not only realize their why, but find that spark within themselves that lights the fire for change; not just physically, but spiritually and mentally as well. It is a great thing to be able to watch someone begin to believe in themselves again.

I have been so lucky to work for Fit Responder for the last 2+ years and can’t wait for many, many more.

Jordann Hammond


I grew up being a competitive soccer player in California, spent years of training to get ready to play in college. I just had made it to the highest level in the club my senior year with offers for a full ride scholarship but had an ankle injury that ruined that. I’m a full believer in everything that happens for a reason and ended up meeting my husband. We ended up living in Germany while he was in the Army. While I was there I really became interested in fitness, and would spend lots of time on the base gym helping other Army wives workout. Also ended up playing for a German soccer team while I was there. When we came back stateside and my husband became a police officer in Texas I had joined Gold’s Fit at Golds Gym. They had approached me to become the Head Coach so that’s when I got certified and started my journey as a trainer. While there I got to do everything from group training , TRX certification, 1:1 training, bootcamps, and eventually Assistant Fitness Manager. I also had a love for CrossFit and all the fun competitions! I ended up having my daughter and taking a break from coaching. During my postpartum journey I really focused on my nutrition and getting back into it. I got to do Orangetheory and F45 which eventually got me to coach at F45. I ended up coming across Fit Responder which has been incredible, being able to help our first responders is truly a blessing. I grew up in a family of all first responders and was married to one. I understand that you all see the worst of the worst, long work hours, stress, the balance of it all, mental health, and poor eating habits. So to develop those relationships with each one of you and be a part of your journey to become the best possible version of yourselves and to be there not only as a trainer but as a friend means so much! You are not just a number here at Fit Responder you are valued and we want you to reach your goals!

I am now a LEO widow with a three year old daughter. I love Jesus and fitness! I am currently working on getting my NASM nutrition certification and wanting to use my background to help other people on their journey!

Russell Medeiros

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

NCI Level 1 and WAG Nutritional Coach Certified.

Police Officer Northern CA

U. S. Coast Guard Veteran

I have been a Police Officer for the past 18 years. I’ve had many special assignments and instructor duties. I served as a U. S. Coast Guardsman for 8 years prior to my Law Enforcement career.

I’ve always been into fitness spending countless hours in the gym. The problem was that I didn’t look like I spent hours in the gym. In my 40’s I got frustrated with my lack of progress. I hired a bodybuilding coach and was amazed that I was eating more and in the gym less and seeing incredible results. I realized that I had a passion for helping others reach their goals and got my certifications to become a health coach.

I am a father of two young boys and when I went through my fitness journey I was working as a Detective with a crazy on call schedule while being a single parent of my kids. I know the demands of being a First Responder and parenting.

I was lucky enough to be hired on to the Fit Responder Team combining my two passions First Responders and fitness. I love working with others to help achieve their goals.

Caleb Gallagher

A little bit about me: I have 12 Years of Law Enforcement Experience with Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science (Cal State University of Northridge), and a Masters Degree in Emergency Management (Cal State University of Long Beach).

Throughout my 12 years as a Sheriff’s Deputy, I have worked many different assignments including Custody, Court, Patrol, Sex Crimes and School Resource Officer. I played Division 1 Baseball at Cal State Northridge. I’ve always been very competitive and fitness has been a top priority in my life. I have enjoyed helping others live a healthier lifestyle. Health and fitness is a top priority to the Fit Responder Family and I’m honored to be part of this movement and help our brothers and sisters become “Fit Responders”.

I’m a father of two and have been with my beautiful wife since we were 15 years old. Being a father and husband is my number one job. It is important for me to be a healthy role model for my children. I want to be around for all of the important milestones. I know health is the most important aspect of my life because without it, I’m not able to be there for my family to the best of my ability.

I have known Ted for the past 12 years and I am honored to be part of this team and change the lives of many First Responders.

Levi Woodard

Hey there, here is just a little about me.

I was born and raised in South Dakota, I was an active member of the Civil Air Patrol for most of my teenage years. I also worked with my father doing construction since about the time I could walk and hold a hammer.

When I was 15 I started running our family construction company as my dad stepped back to do other things with the church he pastors and working with a local funeral home. I stayed with that for a few years doing work in South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, and beyond.

In 2018 I changed course and started as a 911 dispatcher for a regional dispatch center that covered nearly half of South Dakota. To keep up with the changes that year I got married to my beautiful wife Kaycee. Today we still reside in the Rapid City area. I work full time for a global cyber security company, I am a former client of Fit Responder and now have the honor of working for Ted as an advisor for people interested in the program. I still am involved with public safety, I am a Captain for the Rapid Valley Fire Department. I currently serve as the supply captain overseeing our inventory, managing logistics, and equipment.

Joel Laney

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

I was a patrol officer with both the Saint Louis Metropolitan and Town and Country Police Departments. Overall I had a little over three years of experience between the two Departments. It was during this time that I realized there was an incredible need for a program to teach and help First Responders live healthier lives. This is when I left the profession, and returned to Personal Training and coaching at a local CrossFit Affiliate here in Saint Louis, Missouri. At this time, I stumbled upon Fit Responder and could not have started coaching within this program quick enough.

I have a wide range of experience coaching and personal training. I have coached at CrossFit Affiliates, Orangetheory Fitness Studios, and worked one-on-one in the personal training setting. I have been involved with fitness, weightlifting, sports, etc. my entire life. I was awarded the “Best in Physical Training”, “Best in Defensive Tactics”, and “Best Overall Recruit” upon my graduation from the Police Academy. Also, during my tenure as a Patrol Officer I was awarded the “9th Fittest Police Officer in the World” during the 2022 CrossFit Games season. I am currently certified as a CrossFit Level 1 Coach, a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach.

Bryan Huacon

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

My name is Bryan Huacon and I was born in LA, California. I didn’t stay too long since my family moved across the country to Paterson, New Jersey. I was on a school field trip to the Twin Towers when 9/11 happened which led me to join the United States Army as an Infantryman.

I’m compassionate for our veterans and first responders from my own personal experience and my wife working closely with law Enforcement. I’ve been involved in fitness my whole life whether it’s sports, teaching combatives in the military, to competing in Classic Physique, to now pursuing my own journey of fitness in Mixed Martial Arts. I have a broad range of knowledge in different disciplines of fitness which allows me to individualize plans to each client. Being a husband and father have been the biggest blessings in my life.

I love watching all combat sports ( UFC, ONE, Bellator, etc. ) and F1. I’m Ecuadorian and am fluent in English and Spanish. Fun fact about myself is I lived on the DMZ which is the border between North and South Korea while I served in the military.

Tanner Starnes

ASFA Personal Trainer

Crossfit Level 1 instructor

I’m a husband, Father of 2, and Fulltime firefighter/EMT.Certified by the ASFA (American Sports and Fitness Association) with previous certifications in ISSA (International Sports Science Association) and CrossFit Level 1.

I developed my passion for fitness in high school athletics and it has continued to follow me throughout my entire life. I began personal training in 2014 and saw the positive impact I could make on people’s health and well-being.

It was that same passion that led me into becoming a first responder. Fitness and nutrition is a never-ending learning process, much like our careers and that’s something that I have always enjoyed.

There’s nothing more rewarding than getting to be a part of someone’s life when they decide to flip that switch and go all in on themselves.

With Fit Responder there’s a community of those individuals that have made that decision and I’m lucky enough to get to be a part of that process

Carrie Wilburn

Certified Personal Trainer (NASM)

Certified Weight Loss Specialist (NASM)

Level I and II Firefighter & Fire Instructor (IFSAC)


CPAT Proctor (KY State Fire Commission-State Fire Rescue Training)

Ph.D. in Educational and Counseling Psychology

I have 22 years experience as a career firefighter, engine Lieutenant, arson investigator and Major. In my previous career I was a school psychologist with a focus on crisis management and crisis debriefing.

I enjoyed working out in high school and college but truly developed a love for fitness when I started training to apply for the fire department. A friend of mine was the strength coach for our university’s football team and he agreed to train me. He taught me so much about strength training, how to reach my goals, and feel comfortable in the gym. Once I joined the fire department I realized how important it was to maintain a level of fitness for duty; for myself, my family and my crew.

I love being part of the Fit Responder team. The coaches and members are a community just like the fire department. Additionally, I enjoy being able to help others reach their goals the way my coach helped me. I also love being part of the Fit Responder team because I believe in the program. It teaches healthy sustainable habits that individuals can use for the rest of their lives

Alysia Stefaniw

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Nutrition Certificationv

Growing up, I was always fit and played highschool/college sports. I had my daughter in 2012 at 21 years old and had gained 75 lbs. At 205 lbs and what was supposed to be the happiest time in my life, all I could do was look in the mirror disgusted with what I saw looking back.

I decided to make a change and wanted to be able to support my daughter and I. I signed up to take the local County Jailor civil service test and used that as motivation to get fit again, since making a fool of myself at physical agility wasn’t an option for me.

I began running and biking but to my surprise, didn’t lose a single pound over the course of a couple months. What used to work for me, no longer did and that’s when resistance training came into my life. I ended up losing about 75 lbs in 9 months. I found my confidence again, I saw muscle tone, and I was able to do all the things I once loved without being out of breath. Not only did I lose the weight, but here I am 8 years later and I’ve maintained my fat/weight loss, I’ve built a huge amount of muscle and I’m the fittest I’ve ever been.

Not to mention everything I do brushes off on my daughter who is now also very curious about fueling her body with the right foods and joins me for a workout once in a while. I became so passionate about fitness through my own journey, it inspired me to help others in similar places that I was mentally and physically.

EMT certification in 2014

I was a Monroe County Sheriff Jailor for almost 4 years, I decided to test my limits and became a City Police Officer in Rochester, NY for the last 4 years.

PS. I did most of this while being a single parent and working awful evening and midnight hours.

Working as a Coach for Fit Responder has been such a rewarding experience. Not only do I get to use my knowledge to educate others to reach their goals, I also get to be there with them during their journey to see all the amazing results our clients see on a daily basis. There is nothing more exhilarating than to see a client go from having no confidence, depressed and upset with themselves to thriving, smiling and confident (not to mention all the knowledge they get to take with them to maintain their healthy lifestyle for the long run). I love being a part of this amazing team!”

Michelle Edwards

LEO Wife and a mother of 3

BS in Occupational Safety and Health

NSCF Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist Specialist

Hey there my name is Michelle Edwards and I have a strong passion to take care of others. Married to my best friend John and we have three beautiful children – 22, 18, and 10.

I was brought up in a little town called Lubbock, TX. There I was a dental assistant for a local dentist and loved everything about taking care of his patients. During this time, I was part of the OSHA coordinating team and little did I know that this would take me to the next phase of our lives.

John accepted a position for a huge company in San Antonio, TX which brought us to where we are today. While he was pursuing his passion in the first responder field as a police officer (now detective), I returned to school and graduated with my BS in Occupational Safety and Health. Shortly after I graduated, I started my fitness journey.

Fast forward to 2016, I am in the parking lot training with others and have the strong desire to become a fitness instructor. Knowing that I have the background from my education on the human body and how it works, I thought hey this will help me teach people the fundamentals of how to lead a healthier lifestyle.

For about 5 years, I had the opportunity to help 100s of people through their fitness journeys and during this time I also had many of my own set backs that I had to overcome. In 2020 I found out I had a small fracture in my low back that would need to be repaired. Never had surgery so had no idea what to expect.

In 2021, my lumbar was fused between L4 and L5 and I had no idea how much of a challenge this was going to be. I had to learn how to walk again with lots of help and PT. Still dealing with some numbness in the right leg, but better each and every day. Then in 2022 I had to have a disc replaced in my neck and this one is so much easier to come back from.

During my journey, there have been some ups and downs and many times tears. But I kept reminding myself that tomorrow will be a better day. Remaining optimistic in the journey has helped me rise above so many of the mountains and valleys. Learning it is ok to not be ok and pushing forward where we can. Believing in the process is key to success.

Jennifer Telford

My name is Jennifer Telford and I am the nutritionist for First Responder Wellness. I have been working with our first responders for the past 2 years in this program as a fitness specialist and now as the nutrition specialist. I have worked in law enforcement and fire since 2006, with 14 years specifically in law enforcement training academies. I was a training instructor for a police academy as well as responsible for the fitness and wellness of numerous specialist units such as SWAT, Close Protection and Mobile Field Forces.

In 2018 I graduated from California Baptist University with a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on nutrition. My husband is ex-military and law enforcement so my experience and passion for what I do hits very close to home.

Over the years of working with first responders I have witnessed first hand the powerful impact nutrition and exercise has on not only the physical health, but the mental and emotional wellbeing of those who serve our communities and country.

I love seeing the changes when a client is able to adapt the healthy nutrition and exercise ideas into their daily lifestyle and make long term progress to their overall health and wellbeing. I understand the unique challenges that face our first responders and how the human body responds to stress and the how proper nutrition and exercise helps to heal and strengthen the body and mind

Donny Sherman

NSCA-Certified personal trainer

NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist

B.A. and M.S. in Exercise Science from McDaniel College

Current police officer and field training officer in Howard County, Maryland.

“I love how much fitness can influence and cause positive change in someone’s life. Going through a rough workout can translate to successfully navigating a hardship in someone’s life.

Fitness and nutrition have allowed me to have a successful athletic career and has helped me in my current career in law enforcement.

Fit Responder allowed me to combine my passions of fitness/coaching and law enforcement to be able to help like-minded individuals succeed in life and their pursuits of health and fitness.

Stockton Meyer

Certified with NASM

Personal Trainer and Nutrition Expert

Utah National guard


I love fitness and the confidence it brings to any one who chooses a healthy lifestyle. It can change someone in all aspects of life. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

I chose to join Fitresponder because they have a great program and promote a lifestyle rather than being a fad diet plan. It’s a community to grow, and work together

Shawn Hamrick

I’m a husband, father of 3, and I work full-time as a client advisor for the Fit Responder Team!

I have always been fit during my life due to being active, playing sports, and enjoying fitness. I strongly believe health and fitness is a journey and we are all trying to improve daily.

I have a few years of law enforcement experience between the police department and the Sheriff’s Office in my area. I have also worked in communications as a 911 telecommunicator for the Sheriff’s Office. I received the physical fitness award coming out of the academy but got a reality check once I began working on patrol. I gained over 50lbs in my first year and began to have health issues (high blood pressure). This scared the shit out of me! So I made a commitment to myself to not be the “fat cop” and began my fitness journey to become healthier. I eventually lost the 50lbs I had gained and put on a bit of muscle in the process. You can do the same!

“The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” What does your daily agenda look like?