Susan VandePol was married to Los Angeles City Firefighter Bob Ortega for 22 years before his duty-related death in 2005. She is the founder of the “Families of the Fallen” support protocol for fire departments as well as its congruent protocol for churches. Susan is a speaker and the author of “Life After Breath - After Her Husband Takes His Last Breath, and After She Tries to Catch Hers” (Morgan James Publishing) and has been a contributor to several other publications as well. She is also the founder of “A Life After Breath Experience” widow’s retreats held annually in Michigan.
Susan is certified in Grief, Crisis, and Trauma Counseling, Grief Coaching, Master Life Coaching, Individual Crisis Intervention, Victim Response, and Mediation. Her speaking engagements include a keynote at the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation’s World Congress, The California State Firefighter’s Convention, the Honor Guard at the International Assoc. of Firefighters Memorial, Fire Rescue International, and Firehouse World.
Susan homeschooled her children, and now lives with her husband whom she shamelessly manipulated into falling on love with her. He obliged by sweeping her off her feet with a large broom. You can find out more at: www.mattersoflifeandbreath.com; Facebook; LinkedIn; Twitter.