Support 7 names Shannon Sessions executive director

Service founded by the late Ken Gaydos
Apr 02, 2019
Courtesy of: South County Fire Shannon Sessions

Shannon Sessions has been named Support 7 executive director.

Since 1981, Support 7 has been serving the southwest Snohomish County community and its fire and police agencies by providing a private gathering place for victims and survivors at on-scene events.

A compassionate team of highly trained volunteers provides support to victims and survivors of trauma and crisis in their darkest moments 24/7.

As the founder of Support 7 and President of International Chaplains Ministry (ICM), the late Ken Gaydos was dedicated to meeting the needs of first responders and the community who were impacted by trauma and loss.

Gaydos died at age 79 in September, and his family and the public safety stakeholders are committed to ensuring this non-profit community victims’ organization continues.

Gaydos, a former Edmonds Fire Department chaplain, was a longtime presence in fire and police departments in Snohomish County.

In 2018, the Edmonds Police Department awarded Gaydos with the Meritorious Service Citation for his years of dedication to this community.

“We are excited to announce that Shannon Sessions has accepted the role of executive director,” said Tim Gaydos, Ken’s son, a Seattle community leader and vice chair of the Support 7/ICM board.

“Shannon has deep ties in the community and unique experience as a veteran, former firefighter, local newspaper editor, Lynnwood Police public information officer, small-business owner and current Lynnwood City councilmember.

“Shannon’s vast connections, professional experience and her integrity will help propel this important work forward. The fact that she and my Dad worked so well together is one more reason we have full confidence that she is the right choice for this vital role.”

Said Sessions: “Our community is touched by all kinds of unexpected and tragic events that impact citizens and first responders. Residential and commercial fires, crime scene deaths, natural end-of-life deaths are common responses for the Support 7 team. Supporting families around the tragic increase in self-inflicted deaths by suicide is another way we provide community care.

“Ken Gaydos had faith that gave him the kind of peace that surpasses understanding and he gently shared that peace with everyone he met. His warmth and wisdom calmed many people in their darkest moments.

"While I can’t fill his shoes, my goal is to continue to move our team and this work forward with his same integrity and heart for our neighbors in trauma and crisis.”

Support 7 is made up of specially trained volunteers who each year serve hundreds of local families in their darkest moments. This team responds alongside local police and fire first responders to local events such as fires, natural disasters, search and rescue operations, suicide and crimes.

They devote hundreds of hours to assist our first responders to care more effectively for a victim’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs at times of significant incidents of trauma.



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