Auburn, MA February 01, 2022.

First H.E.L.P. and FirstNet®, Built with AT&T, have teamed up to provide dozens of communities and thousands of first responders with world-class mental health training through First H.E.L.P.’s #ResponderReadiness Workshop Series.

First H.E.L.P. Chief Learning Officer Joe Willis worked with AT&T to organize these training opportunities for first responders across the country.  Many of the nation’s emergency response teams are rural and covered by small groups of dedicated and often under-resourced first responders that rely on regional dispatchers.  For most of these men and women, mental health training is a necessary tool, but often it goes unfunded. AT&T is working to ease the burden for these communities by providing high-quality training at no cost. 

FirstNet is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. Shaped by the vision of Congress and the first responder community following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, FirstNet is built with AT&T in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority,  an independent agency within the federal government. FirstNet stands above commercial offerings providing first responders with truly dedicated coverage and capacity when they need it, including unique benefits like always-on priority and preemption, and high-quality Band 14 spectrum. These advanced capabilities enable FirstNet to help fire, EMS, EMA, law enforcement and 9-1-1 personnel save lives and protect their communities.

“AT&T’s commitment to our public safety community goes beyond our FirstNet network connectivity,” said Dr. Anna Courie, DPN, RN, PHNA-BC, Director, Responder Wellness, FirstNet Program at AT&T. “We are dedicated to working with First H.E.L.P. to bring mental health resources to first responders across the country—especially in rural areas with limited access.”

The two organizations hope to see this training reach as far into these rural communities as possible.  While the training is open to federal, state, and large municipal responders, priority will go to smaller communities.

First H.E.L.P.’s #ResponderReadiness workshop series is a unique program that brings together all types of first responders and mental health providers in a cohesive training program where all participants develop skills built around a common set of principles.  Readers can learn more about the training on the First H.E.L.P. website

First H.E.L.P. will deliver two types of training at 20 locations throughout the country, focusing first on rural and suburban communities. 

3-Day Workshop Series

First H.E.L.P.’ s 3-Day workshop series allows communities to train up to 200 participants in dynamic and interactive 4-hour training events. The program consists of four 4-hour workshops and a Train-the-Trainer program, delivered on-site from Monday through Wednesday. The three days of training consists of two 4-hour #ResponderReadiness Workshops, one 4-hour #SupervisorReadiness Workshop, and one 4-hour #ProviderReadiness Workshop.  This series will be delivered in Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin.

1-Day Workshops

The state of Illinois will also receive a number of 1-Day workshops, bringing the #ResponderReadiness workshop to 400 first responders in Illinois and targeting Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, McHenry, McLean, Ogle, Rock Island, Sangamon, and Stephenson Counties.

“We understand that first responders face significant health risks because of the work they do for our communities,” said Dr. Courie. “This program with First H.E.L.P. will better equip first responders mentally and physically and help our public safety community stay safer.”

This training program reinforces the strategic priorities established by the FirstNet Health and Wellness Coalition (FNHWC) to support first responders and their families. The mission of the FNHWC is to integrate responder, community, industry, and academic capabilities to support the health, wellness, and readiness of American first responders.

FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder Network Authority.  All other marks are the property of their respective owners.