Wilmington Fire Department adds third Crisis Response Facility Dog to its program

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Fire Department adding another four-legged friend to its Crisis Response Program.

On Wednesday, the fire department introduced its newest dog named AXEL at the Empie Park Fire Station. AXEL is the third dog to be added to the Crisis Response Team, which helps aid in de-escalation of stress and anxiety for firefighters after leaving an emergency situation. AXEL joins RHYS and HEART to help out in this role at the department or on scene of an emergency when needed.

According to Lieutenant Josh Baltz, AXEL is trained and ready to go wherever he is needed at the time.

“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,” said Baltz. Baltz added that when they started the program two and half years ago, he and the department had no idea this would become such a useful resource for the community but is glad it’s helping.

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