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October 03, 2023 | FLORIDA DOREEN OVERSTREET, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Seminole County, Fla. (October 2, 2023) – Recently the Seminole County Fire Department hosted 20 service dogs in training and their trainers at Fire Station 29 from the organization New Horizons Service Dogs.

Seminole County Fire Department partnered with the organization to help train the service dogs and their handlers to help de-sensitize the dogs to the sights and sounds of the Fire Engines and Rescues as well as a firefighter on-air in bunker gear and the ambulance transfer of a client with a service dog. Their purpose was to get these service animals ready for the world’s sights and sounds so they could help their future clients. The dogs are trained and then go to people with disabilities and special needs, including those with autism and veterans suffering PTSD.

“We were proud to partner with the organization as Seminole County Fire Department has excellent relationships with many therapy and service dog organizations,” said Firefighter Darlene Robinson, who coordinated the event and serves as the point of contact for SCFD on all therapy and service dog visits.

The golden retrievers were exposed to the sights and sounds of the fire station and all handled it very calmly, even the younger five-month old puppies.  

New Horizons Service Dogs has also worked with Orange County Fire Rescue and Volusia County Fire Rescue to train the dogs as well as in rehab facilities and nursing homes.

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