Wellness Solutions for Firefighters & Law Enforcement Officers: The UCP Police App

Ken Schul

(Retired Captain, CMPD), Director, StackBench

First responders handle some of the most stressful situations that arise daily. Not only do these professionals respond to emergencies, but police and firefighters are the first individuals to arrive on a scene. While being a first responder is a noble profession, it can be hard on the body and mind; it is equally imperative first responders take care of themselves so they may properly take care of those they serve. Departments can aid their employees by providing a police wellness solution app that officers may access whenever they need to find a health and wellness professional.

Police Wellness App

One way for first responders to keep track of wellness is through an app. Smartphones are a large part of our lives. Applications and smartphone technology impact our lives and connect professionals to work colleagues and schedules as well as personal schedules, all in one convenient place. For firefighters and law enforcement officers, physical and mental wellness is crucial to providing successful service to their communities. Police officers must stay in shape. By utilizing a wellness application, first responders can keep track of their health in many ways.

A police wellness app can provide a platform for officers to keep track of their health goals, find wellness resources, and receive and offer support for maintaining healthy habits. First responders benefit from being healthy and fit inside and out. Firefighters and police officers rely on their physical fitness to perform their job well; being physically fit keeps them safe. Mental wellness and being mentally healthy make a difference in first responders' daily interactions as well. A sound mind allows for solid decision-making. This skill is imperative in a first responder’s line of work. In turn, mental and physical health go hand in hand, especially for first responders.

Though numerous smartphone wellness apps are available, one created with first responders in mind can provide many more benefits to officers. For instance, the Unified Communication Platform (UCP) Police App created by StackBench is an application for law enforcement officers. The application has numerous benefits that connect police officers to the public they serve, increasing communication. In addition, the UCP Police App has several categories relevant to the first responder line of work, including a wellness feature where departments can add health resources for their officers.

Benefits of the UCP Police App from StackBench

A law enforcement app with a wellness feature can open doors for first responders to receive the assistance they need. The UCP Police App wellness feature has several resources for law enforcement and other first responders. These resources include education for first responders regarding PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other job-related challenges. This police wellness app also has webinars on mental and physical health topics and additional ways to reach out to fellow police officers and chaplains. The law enforcement wellness app includes videos, podcasts, and numerous other helpful resources for police officers to refer to.

The more police officers take care of their physical and mental health, the better they can increase and maintain public safety in their communities. For instance, if a law enforcement officer is struggling with their mental health, they will face obstacles on the job. These struggles may impede an officer from making the best choices or decisions while on duty. Making sound choices immediately is a required skill for all first responders.

Police officers are trained to think quickly on their feet. The more rested, healthy, and prepared an individual is, the faster they can make solid decisions. With the assistance of a police wellness solution, officers can obtain help quickly, conveniently, and effectively. By helping themselves, first responders are helping their own families and people in their communities. The wellness of a law enforcement officer affects their loved ones in personal situations just as much as it affects professional interactions in the communities they serve.

The advantages of having a law enforcement officer wellness app are endless. When a department utilizes an app such as the UCP Police App, departments can provide staff with numerous options and wellness tools to help their employees be their best selves. The UCP Police App is compatible with Android and iPhone platforms. The app can make a difference in how a department operates and improves communication between employees and citizens.

Health, Wellness, and Law Enforcement

The average number of police officers who commit suicide is approximately 100 per year. This number is staggering and has increased over the last few years. One solution to prevent police officer and firefighter suicides from occurring is by providing resources to help combat any feelings towards this act. When first responders have resources readily available to them, they are less likely to be depressed or commit a tragic act such as suicide.

Several departments have chaplains on standby and assist their employees with finding additional resources like mental health professionals and counselors. It can be challenging for law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders to attend or schedule appointments. The schedule of police officers is not uncommon. Their work day involves working long hours, overtime, and odd hours. Trying to balance home life, work life, and fit in health appointments can be a challenge. With a police wellness app, officers can have the resources instantly and at their convenience.

Often, first responders may not have these resources available or wish to remain anonymous about receiving help. Access to a law enforcement wellness app provides first responders with resources on their phones. For example, the UCP Police App allows departments to include any mental health resources available to law enforcement through the application. This feature is one of several customizable features on this app. The more an app meets the needs of that particular department, the better the agency can help its employees and the public.

Sound Body and Mind

First responders need to take care of themselves so that they can take care of the community they serve. Maintaining wellness on all levels can be challenging for the firefighter or police officer. Due to unpredictable schedules, not enough staffing, and long shift work, it can be challenging for first responders to make time to take care of themselves in the way they need to. In a recent study, findings uncovered that in a group of 54 police officers, 12 percent stated they had a job-related mental health diagnosis. Most officers in this study were actively receiving wellness treatment of some kind. The main hesitation with potentially receiving help was the confidentiality aspect. Using a police wellness app, officers can have wellness resources at their fingertips and may keep their anonymity more effectively.

Police officers and firefighters regularly respond to mental health and wellness calls. To do their best while responding to these particular types of calls, first responders need to take care of themselves and maintain their health. In addition, when a department implements an app that is available to the public, officers may refer citizens to wellness resources. A police app is an economical way to enable departments to communicate more effectively with personnel and allows officers to communicate with the public conveniently. An app for police departments is usually free for citizens so they may be aware of what is happening in their community. In addition, a police app allows citizens to assist police by providing tips or leads efficiently and even anonymously. The more information law enforcement has, the more public safety is enhanced; increased public safety enhances wellness for officers and civilians.

Technology such as a smartphone app can mediate a few obstacles first responders face regarding their health and wellness. Another aspect of police officer and firefighter wellness is being constantly situationally aware. Situational awareness includes knowing what is happening around the officer and intel that may be pertinent to the officer’s shift that day. An officer can respond to a call more effectively when more information is related to them. Efficient police response increases the ability to protect the community. The more mentally prepared a first responder is, the stronger they are.

With a police app, departments can connect with their officers directly through the smartphone app to alert them of any urgent information regarding incidents occurring in and around their jurisdiction. By relating intel to police officers regarding suspects, vehicles to be on the lookout for, and any other important information, law enforcement can be much more aware of their surroundings, protecting themselves and the public. Including wellness features promotes positivity in the work environment.

First responders can put their best foot forward when they are healthy in both body and mind. A police wellness app assists departments in numerous ways and offers a tool for easy, effective methods to maintain health and wellness. Taking care of physical health promotes a positive mindset. A positive mindset impacts the overall lifestyle. Police officers can most effectively help the welfare of the citizens they serve when they take care of their well-being.

The Solution

Police departments can incorporate a police app into their daily operations to connect more effectively with their communities and provide wellness resources to their officers. When a police wellness app is readily available, it can make a difference in individuals’ personal lives and work performance. The healthier an officer is, the better they can serve their citizens and the safer their community will be.

For more information or to get started, don't hesitate to contact us today.