The Wilmington Fire Department recently launched a pilot program to utilize a Crisis Response Facility Dog at WFD Station 8. RHYS reports to work at the fire station with the firefighters on C Shift and goes home with his firefighter handler, Zach, when they are off duty.
RHYS is part of a larger Mental Health and Wellness program the department is pushing. The goal of the program is to aid in de-escalation of stress post-call, ease tension at the station, lower anxiety, reduce long-term effects of PTSD, and improve cardiovascular health. In addition, RHYS will provide assistance in emergency situations, both at the department and at the scene of an emergency in the community to ease the distress of anyone affected by the trauma.