Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, the most extensive non-metropolitan fire department and rescue service in the United Kingdom, received a call regarding a woman about to commit suicide on a bridge near Exeter, southwest England.
The police had arrived at the scene and tried to negotiate with the woman. However, the situation seemed to worsen as a result.
Suddenly, one of the fire crews brought out Digby, a Labradoodle working as a therapy dog during ‘diffusing’ sessions for the group. Since the crew is constantly exposed to traumatic experiences on the job, Digby’s primary role is to make them more relaxed and comfortable during the talk therapy sessions.
As soon as the woman saw Digby, she turned to look at him and smiled. Soon after, she was chatting with the team, asking questions about the intriguing dog. The first responders took the opportunity to negotiate with her. They asked her to climb over the safe part of the railing to meet Digby at the truck, and she did.
The entire emergency lasted four hours, from 11:00 in the morning until 3:00 pm. Eventually, they turned the woman over to mental health professionals. Hopefully, she will receive the care that she needs.
Perhaps, Digby’s role in the rescue mission was crucial. As opposed to human first responders, being a dog is an advantage. It is not judgmental, demanding, and respectful of boundaries. It is precisely what people, like the woman, need.”
While Digby deserved all the love and praise, we think his handler, Matt, also deserves acknowledgment. Being a first-responder is no easy task as it requires you to be alert, creative, and resourceful in times of crisis. It was an excellent idea that he decided to take Digby and introduce him to the woman in distress. If he weren’t quick enough, things could have turned out differently.
If you want to learn more about Digby, watch the video below:
Source: Heart News West Country via YouTube