PAMPA, TX (KFDA) - The newest member of Pampa's team of first responders is a puppy.
For many people, nothing makes them happier than having a dog run and greet them when they arrive after a long day. And that same concept holds true for many first responders. Now, many of them in our area can feel that same happiness.
Our first responders see some of the most traumatic things, that many of us cannot begin to imagine. But this little guy will now be helping ease some of the stress that comes along with the job.
Albert is the latest addition to Pampa EMS and Lifestar. He was donated by a family who just had a litter of labradoodles
"We wanted to donate one to be a service dog and then Lifestar EMS just got approved for a therapy dog and approached us and so we definitely said yes," says breeder Jennifer Winchester.
Albert still has some training in his future. Petsmart donated obedience classes to make sure he is on his best behavior while on the job.
Albert's main purpose will be used to comfort the crews after difficult calls, and will ride in the vehicles during PR events and ambulance demonstrations.
"There are other agencies that have started doing it and it's been a very positive outcome with it and so that's what we were looking for to help our employees with," says Paramedic and shift supervisor Cyndi Mahorney.
Mahorney says coming back to Albert will be an escape of sorts, for comfort and joy. Though difficult to let go, Winchester tells us she is anxious to see the smiles Albert will bring to the faces of people in the panhandle.
"I'm very excited for Albert to get to work everyday and to be a joy to these people. They see lots of trouble and he will be a great addition to their family," says Winchester.
"We feel very very blessed. It's something we had talked about for a while and it just happened that they had puppies and it was...we're just really blessed that they did that for us."
Albert will live at the station from now on, as he gets to know the men and women who he'll call family.