911 center foster dog helps lower dispatcher stress

The St. Joseph County 911 Center is fostering Twix to help dispatchers deal with tough situations, as well as help Twix until he gets a permanent home

By EMS1 Staff

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. — A 911 center is fostering a dog to help dispatchers cope with the stress of the job.

WSBT reported that Twix has found a temporary home at the St. Joseph County 911 Center, and the dispatchers love having him around.

"He’s got 73 brothers and sisters and he’s still up for adoption, so we’re fostering him but he’s been a great asset,” Fire Operations Chief Nancy Lockhart said.

Twix, who came from the St. Joseph County Humane Society, stays at the center 24/7 and is spoiled by dispatchers with comfy beds, treats and toys.

“We had an idea we wanted to bring in a dog, you know, to kind of help lighten the atmosphere and help reduce stress,” Lockhart said.

Twix spends his time roaming around the building, interacting with staff members.

“He’s got his select few favorite people every shift, he kind of takes to a few people. He’ll follow them around throughout the day,” dispatcher Nick Brovold said. “It just makes it a little homier in here, you know. You come in, he comes up to you, he’s happy to see you, it’s tactile, you can touch him, he’s soft. It’s just a natural stress reliever.”

The 911 Center will foster Twix until he finds a permanent home, and plan to find another dog once he he’s adopted.

“We talked about the fact what if he does get adopted, you know, I think in our hearts we’re going to be really, really happy for him. We’ll be sad at the same time, but you know what? We’ll foster another one,” Lockhart said.


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