Non-Profit Spotlight: Dive Guardians

Our community is full of incredible people and organizations, out making a difference for others! In this month’s Non-Profit Spotlight we’d like to recognize Dive Guardians!

It all started in 2015 when Dive Guardians President and Founder, Randy Lung, began working with disabled veterans and using SCUBA diving and the therapeutic effects of water to help others with both their physical and mental injuries. In addition to being a Military Veteran, Randy is also a 25-year veteran of Law Enforcement.  During his long career as a First Responder, he witnessed the negative effects that experiencing repeated traumatic events over a career has on a First Responder. Randy has seen many develop drug and alcohol problems, become both suspects and victims of domestic violence, and suffer from depression.  He also knows more than one First Responder who has chosen to take their life due to depression and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).  Then, in 2016, a fellow First Responder and friend, took his life leaving behind a wife, three children, and a grandchild.

Randy thought about his friend a lot after it happened and tried to make sense of what he did and wished there was some way he could have intervened and helped him before he chose to take his life. As Randy began to search for organizations designed specifically to help First Responders, he realized there weren’t many.  So, in March 2018, Dive Guardians was born.

The initial goal of Dive Guardians was to strictly use Scuba Diving to help first responders reduce the symptoms of anxiety and PTS. However, over time they have added several other programs to include counseling services, HRV Biofeedback and mild Hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  Dive Guardians added these programs for a couple reasons: the first was COVID-19. Because of this pandemic, pools and other amenities needed to run their classes were closed preventing them from helping the community’s first responders. Adding services was the perfect way to continue helping amid the pandemic. The second reason for expanding their services was that Scuba Diving isn’t for everyone. The additional services provides their applicants with more tools to help them.

For the month of July 2021 Stromsoe Insurance will donate $21 to Dive Guardians for every referral that comes to our team!

Learn More about The 2021 Happiness is… Referral Rewards Program HERE…

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We asked Dive Guardians President and Founder, Randy Lung about the non-profit:

Stromsoe Insurance Agency: What does your non-profit offer to the community? Who benefits from your non-profit?

Dive Guardians: Dive Guardians works out of Temecula. When we plan fundraisers or events, it is usually in the community. Additionally, many first responders live and work in the community. By us helping the first responders, it benefits, not only the first responder, but also the community as are participants are better and more well-adjusted after going through our program.

SIA: What is the Buddy Program?

DG: The buddy program is strictly for the non first responder going through with a first responder. If a First responder is going through and say they want their wife/husband/kid or whoever to be their buddy, but that buddy is NOT a first responder, then there is a cost of $277 for that non-first responder. No real profit to Dive Guardians, that really just covers the cost of the class. I hope eventually that we can afford to put the buddies through also at no cost, but, financially, we are just not big enough yet.  If two people want to go through together as buddies for each other and they are both first responders, then yes it is free to both of them.

SIA: Who do you consider “first responders?”

DG: Our definition of a first responder is big. It includes, Cops, Firefighters,  EMT/Paramedics, Dispatchers, Doctors, Nurses, Veterans and Active Military. The ones I listed here are the primary and most consistent people we help. Basically, if you have a job that helps people and you also see and experience traumatic stuff, you would probably fit into our definition of a first responder, however,  aside from the ones listed anything new would be a case by case evaluation.

SIA: What are some of the misconceptions you find people have for what your non-profit does/doesn’t do?

DG: People ask me every day, why is your program free to First Responders, don’t they make enough money?  True, for some, but First responders also suffer from what I call “The John Wayne Syndrome,” Which means: “We are the Protectors, we are the people who are not supposed to hurt, feel pain, or be affected by the things we see and experience!”

Based on this way of thinking, Many First responders are not open to traditional counseling where they have to “talk about their feelings” plus if you’re not going to get your butt off the couch to decompress or ask for help, it really doesn’t matter how much money you do or do not have. Our program is free, it’s fun, and it gets them off the couch and doing something.

Plus, don’t you think our First Responders deserve at least the same level of care as our war heroes and veterans?  They selflessly are out there day after day, year after year for 20-30 years, and they develop PTS and have physical injuries just like our veterans.

Upcoming Events

While fundraisers may be paused, there are still several classes upcoming. Visit their website to apply.

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If you would like to help support Dive Guardians, please engage with them via Facebook and Instagram. For additional information, check their website.

All the services provided by Dive Guardians to First Responders are free to them, however, it does costs the non-profit money. The best way to support Dive Guardians is by signing up for a recurring monthly donation. You can support Randy Lung in his efforts to heal Frist Responders through SCUBA by donating as low as $7 a month on their website.

If you would like to volunteer with Dive Guardians, you can find the volunteer form on their website.

When asked if there was anything else he would like us to share about Dive Guardians, Randy Lung had this to say:

In closing, I miss Rick a lot, I think about him every day and I don’t want to ever feel again that I missed an opportunity to help stop someone like Rick, from committing suicide.

I know our program works not only from my personal experience, but there have been studies to prove and 80% reduction in PTSD symptoms after Scuba Diving.

For the month of July 2021 Stromsoe Insurance will donate $21 to Dive Guardians for every referral that comes to our team!

Learn More about The 2021 Happiness is… Referral Rewards Program HERE…

Would you like to learn more about how we can help protect your non-profit , call your Stromsoe Insurance Total Protection Team at (951) 600-5751 or email insure@siaonline.com today!