When disaster strikes, we turn to first responders to help ensure the safety and well-being of our communities. But when the disaster is over and the public is safe, who is looking out for the safety and well-being of those brave first responders?
AT&T has come to realize the tremendous impact that public safety has on the health and wellness of our local communities. However, the service public safety provides to our communities does not come without personal sacrifice and burdens. That’s why AT&T has committed resources to supporting the issue of responder health and wellness as a part of its commitment to building and supporting FirstNet.
One of these vital resources is “ROG the Dog” animal assisted therapy. Therapy dogs are proven to have a positive impact on mental and physical health. Studies have shown that interacting with animals can improve coping and recovery, enhance morale, decrease stress, and reduce the effects of PTSD and emotional distress.1
As part of our ongoing commitment to Be There for America’s first responders, one of our FirstNet® therapy dogs recently visited a Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) demonstration at Chicago’s McCormick Place to show how the pups can support significant events where public safety is called in – events like hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and other critical incidents.
Animal-assisted therapy for first responders:
- Positively impacts the mental and physical health of first responders
- Improves coping and recovery from critical events
- Enhances morale in departments
- Decreases emotional distress and anxiety
- Reduces the negative impacts from Post-Traumatic Stress
Also, during the NDR event, participants got a behind-the-scenes look at the FirstNet experience and how our teams mobilize to support public safety. Among the highlights:
- Demonstrations of the dedicated FirstNet deployable assets used to support disasters and emergency response (such as the new Communications Vehicle pictured above)
- Interaction with national and local experts from the FirstNet team at AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority.
- First-hand examples of how the public-private partnership between the FirstNet Authority and AT&T helps public safety agencies
- A presentation by Dr. Olivia Johnson on “The Fatal 10 Factors of Law Enforcement Suicide.”
To learn more about FirstNet’s health and wellness efforts, including ROG the Dog deployments, visit our site.
1 Tedeschi, P. and Jenkins, M. (2019). Transforming Trauma: Resilience and Healing through our connections with animals. Purdue University Press.