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First responders face challenging and dangerous situations on a daily basis, with more than 80 percent of them reporting that they experience traumatic events on the job. The public safety industry faces the highest incidence of mental health issues as a result of their profession, with roughly 1 in 3 first responders developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), compared to the general population incidence of 1 in 5 people. While their commitment to public safety is commendable, the toll on their mental health cannot be ignored.

It is imperative to address the challenges faced by those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving our communities. First responders, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency personnel, deserve the right resources so they can prioritize their own well-being and mental health.

On June 28th, Kristen Ziman, former Police Chief of the Aurora, IL Police Department and a change agent for public safety, partnered with Axon, the leading agency in public safety technology to help raise awareness on the wellness needs for first responders. She was joined by Isabella Giannini, Director of Customer Loyalty and Head of Axon Aid. Together, they shared their personal and professional experiences on this topic while shedding light on the resources available that can help support others, including the stories, evidence and tools for responders, their families and communities.

Additionally, Isabella and Kristen provided more background on Axon Aid, Axon’s philanthropic arm. This program provides resources to first responders at no cost to them, including disaster relief support, charitable donations and officer wellness. The website features a series of documentaries, stories and segments to help provide tools for managing through a number of topics relevant to responders in managing their mental health. Axon also launched their latest installment in collaboration with FirstNet®, Built with AT&T, the only network built with and for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community, to release a special segment that provides responders with a five-phase process to take PTSD and transform it to post-traumatic growth.

For more information and to see the resources available to first responders on Axon Aid, please visit

Kristen is the former Police Chief of the Aurora IL Police Department (Ret.). In Kristen’s 30-year career in law enforcement, she blazed trails: she became the first woman Lieutenant in 2008, first woman Commander in 2010, and eventually the first woman Chief in her department’s history in January of 2016. Kristen was also the Chief on watch during a mass shooting in her hometown Aurora, IL. Since retiring from the department, Kristen has now stepped into her new career as a professional speaker and consultant for organizations and police departments focused on the areas of leadership, women empowerment, positive psychology, and mass shooting prevention. Kristen is also the author of Reimagining Blue: Thoughts on Life, Leadership, and a New Way Forward in Policing, a passionate and personal memoir of a misunderstood profession through the vantage point of a female police chief.

Isabella is the Director of Customer Loyalty. She is responsible for founding and leading Axon Aid. Bella also oversees the Global Roadshow, Awards program and Customer Intelligence team. She also serves as co-president for our Women at Axon group. Prior to leading Customer Loyalty, Bella oversaw Axon’s e-commerce platform and team where she focused on creating a seamless, easy, and optimized online experience. Prior to Axon, Bella worked at DFS Limited and At, she led the charge on the marketing strategy for Worldstock, Overstock’s corporate social responsibility initiative. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business.

Produced for: Axon