HomePet NewsDog NewsWest Hartford Fire Department invites treatment dog to ranks

West Hartford Fire Department invites treatment dog to ranks


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WEST HARTFORD — Lola, a 3-year-old Labrador retriever, is the most recent member of the West Hartford Fire Department.

The treatment dog will appear to work every day with its handler, firemen and paramedic Matt Hebert — not to eliminate fires or help on medical calls, however rather to react to the psychological requirements of the department’s members who manage distressing occurrences.

“To a specific level, it’s cutting edge,” said Sean Howard, the vice present of the West Hartford Fire Fighters Association Local 1241, firemen and member of the department’s peer assistance group. “It’s ending up being increasingly more prevalent (in departments) throughout the nation. We’re beginning to see it more in the state too.”

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Firefighters and paramedics have trauma at a rate 3 times greater than your typical individual, the department said, with some seeing “more distressing occasions in a single day than some people will witness in a whole life time.”

“There’s a specific level of altruism and bravery in the occupation that often leads individuals to state I’m tough, I can manage it,” Howard said. “You put a treatment dog in front of them; they start cuddling the dog and relaxing, and all of an abrupt they’re opening up. It’s actually about getting us to open. The peer assistance dog can be really deactivating.”

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Howard said Lola will accompany Hebert on each of his shifts to “end up being adapted to all the websites and noises of a firehouse.” But the dog can check out other stations or emergency situation action websites if required.

“The other thing, the dog is deployable to react to stations if a team had a distressing call, whether it be a fire or a medical emergency situation, and you get the advantage of Lola visiting them,” Howard said. “Even on a more comprehensive scale, there’s the choice where if a school has something distressing that the department handler can bring Lola and they can gain from her.”

Lola will assistance the work the department’s peer support group already carries out in linking members to scientific resources like the department’s pastor or the town’s staff member help program.

The department’s union got the dog at no cost from the Florida-based K9s for Warriors. Local businesses Pet Supplies Plus and VCA Veterinary Specialists of CT have actually likewise assisted to fund the cost of Lola’s food and veterinary care.

Howard said the union appreciated that the department’s administration supported their efforts to get a treatment dog.

“The administration here has actually been really passionate and helpful in ensuring that firemens who actually react to some frequently distressing and mentally charged occurrences they can take home with them get the resources they require to serve themselves while they’re assisting others,” Howard said.

The department’s fire chief, Greg Priest, said he remained in complete assistance of the union including the dog to their ranks to much better help their own.

“Of equivalent significance to safeguarding our people is helping our own members, specifically from the stress factors that this profession can put on them,” Priest said in a declaration. “The department is really delighted and happy to have actually supported the union’s efforts to obtain Lola. The principle of treatment dogs is still visionary, and it’s impressive that the union had the insight to try to find proactive procedures to use assistance to their members, specifically prior to an issue may occur. She will be a crucial property to the cache of choices and services available for firemens.”

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