The Wilmington Fire Department revealed that it is adding a new furry, four-legged friend to the department in an announcement on Wednesday, September 6 as per WECT.
Axel, the Wilmington Fire Department’s newest and third Crisis Response Facility Dog, officially joined the department’s two other Crisis Response Facility Dog, Rhys and Heart on Wednesday, September 13.
According to WWAYTV3, Rhys currently works at WFD Station 8 on C Shift and Heart works at Station 2 on A Shift. Meanwhile, Axel will report to work at Station 2 on B shift with his handler, Captain Moon.
He will work at the fire station on his shift and go home with his firefighter handler when they are both off duty.
Axel was introduced by the fire department at the Empie Park Fire Station and was presented with his official Crisis Response Facility Dog vest.
According to Lieutenant Josh Baltz through a WWAYTV3 report, “AXEL is considered a facility dog who specializes in crisis response. To be able to do that, he needs to be able to be trained in specific commands to go and see people and help them in a time of need.”
According to the fire department, “The K9’s provide an opportunity for the firefighters to relieve stress through the sense of touch and deep pressure, regain motivation, and bring joy back to their day.”
Furthermore, the Crisis Response Facility dogs also “aid in de-escalation of stress after a traumatic event, ease tension at the station, lower anxiety, reduce long-term effects of PTSD, and improve cardiovascular health.”
And the dogs provide all of these not only to the fire department members but to members of the community in any emergency situation.
Baltz also said that when they started this program, the fire department had no idea how useful it would be for the community but is glad that it’s helping.