Motivation and support comes in many forms, including a cold nose and a warm heart. Port Jefferson EMS welcomed its newest staff member, Canine Companions for Independence Facility Dog Huck. EMS Facility Dog Huck will assist her handler, Deputy Chief Michael Presta, during his work with patients, EMS providers, and community members exposed to traumatic events.
Since 1975, Canine Companions® has bred, raised, and expertly trained service dogs in over 40 commands designed to assist and motivate clients with special needs. Huck, a two-year-old Labrador / Golden Retriever mix, has been selected to work for Port Jefferson EMS because of his unobtrusive and calm demeanor necessary in an EMS setting.
Port Jefferson EMS utilizes EMS Facility Dog Huck to:
- Better connect with our vulnerable populations outside of our normal 911 response role.
- Help community members exposed to traumatic events process grief and loss.
- Work with children to build relationships.
- Conduct senior citizen visits and welfare checks.
- Engage with the public during community events.
- Provide comfort and emotional support to our EMTs & Paramedics.
- and so much more!
For nearly 46 years, Canine Companions has been enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by training and placing more than 6,700 service dogs with program graduates, including more than 230 dogs with military veterans and more than 2,000 dogs with children. The estimated cost of a highly trained Canine Companions facility dog like Huck, and all follow up support, is $50,000, however each facility dog is provided at no cost. Canine Companions depends on the support of tens of thousands of donors and volunteers to match facilities and people in need with a service dog like Huck entirely free of charge.
“We are so grateful to Canine Companions for providing Huck to Port Jefferson EMS” said Deputy Chief Michael Presta. “Huck is an incredible addition to our Port Jefferson EMS family. His training and personality are perfect for providing comfort to those exposed to trauma and helping to ease the stress that patients and healthcare providers feel during high-stress incidents.”
ABOUT CANINE COMPANIONS FOR INDEPENDENCE:
Canine Companions for Independence provides highly trained service dogs to children and adults with disabilities. Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six regional training centers across the country. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. For more information, visit www.cci.org or call 1-800-572-BARK.