AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Randall County Fire Department has two companions helping our local firefighters.
Randall County Fire Stations #1 and #2 each have a pup to help their men and women relieve stress after tough calls or training. Though the pair are not trained therapy dogs, firefighters say these two really do play a big role at the stations.
Ace, who belongs to Lieutenant Joe Koch, is a 3-year-old red heeler mix at Fire Station #1. Ace has a happy-go-lucky attitude that easily rubs off on the firefighters, and his coworkers say he never misses a day of work.
"The truck doesn't roll without Ace," says firefighter Josh Craft. "A lot of times we'll catch ourselves asking, 'Where's Ace?' and I open my door and he hops right up in there. It's definitely nice to have something to come back to at the station. It's nice to have him and he lifts the spirits, he holds the crew together."
Heffa is an English mastiff and has a calmer demeanor. She's a little over a year old and belongs to Station #2 Captain Mike Back. Like Ace, she's at the station daily and on occasion tries to tag along with the crew on calls as well.
"We always have her there with us," says firefighter Shawn Eustace. "Obviously she's a large dog, so she's not as easy to get into the truck. She doesn't just jump into the truck like Ace does. We have to actually put her into the truck. So, she doesn't get to go on all the calls but it's nice when we do get back from a bad call to have Heffa there. She doesn't know any better, to her, every person is a friend."
The pair are especially inseparable when the crews meet once a week for training. They continuously wrestle and play and easily make the firefighters smile.
"The two get to at least see each other every week and it's the highlight of their day and ours to see them together," Koch said. "It's like two kids getting together. When he hears (Station #2's) truck come in and he's out looking for Heffa already. It's the same for her."