By: Captain II Tracey Reed
Fire Station 15, Chantilly, C-Shift
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to introduce you to the newest resident at Station 15, Chantilly – Xander! Xander is a fully trained and certified golden-doodle therapy dog. He was donated to the department by anonymous donors and Caring Angels Therapy Dogs. He is sponsored by Sit Means Sit.
Xander comes to Station 15 as part of a program instituted by the Fire and Rescue Department that hopes to use highly trained and certified therapy dogs to benefit on-duty personnel at the station. The department’s Behavioral Health Office is evaluating the use of these specially-trained dogs to reduce the cumulative stress firefighters and paramedics experience witnessing traumas and tragedy throughout the course of their careers.
Xander has been specifically trained by Caring Angels, in collaboration with select Fairfax County fire and rescue personnel, for the fire station environment. He lives in the station 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with shift personnel. Each shift has two designated, trained handlers who are responsible for Xander’s daily care.
Xander joins therapy K9’s Wally (Station 32) and Belle (Behavioral Health Office) as members of the department.
ABOUT CARING ANGELS THERAPY DOGS: The Caring Angels Therapy Dogs organization primarily trains therapy dogs to assist military personnel and veterans that are battling the effects of traumatic exposures. For more information, visit www.caringangelstherapydogs.org