Lola the Vancouver Fire Trauma Dog Will Help Her Human Colleagues Cope With Stress

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An adorable golden retriever that won’t stop smiling for a second has just completed her training and is ready to start her job at the Vancouver Fire.

First responders to tragedies like the Quebec mosque shooting suffer a lot after attending to the victims. The first paramedic that was on the scene of the mosque shooting committed suicide. A few days later, local first responders admitted that they’re trying hard to fight mental health issues after being witnesses to daily danger, chaos, and tragedies.

It’s a tough job for the first responders (firefighters, police officers, military personnel, emergency dispatchers, EMTs) and the daily stress can end in post-traumatic stress disorder. They can experience worry, guilt, anger, anxiety, sleep disorders and addiction to drugs or alcohol.

But there is a way we can help people that save our lives!

Today, Vancouver Fire will be presenting their newest member that will help the first responders to deal with the stress at the job.

Meet Lola, the Trauma Dog

On their twitter account, Fire Chief Darrell Reid wrote:

‘Lola (our #GoldenRetriever #TherapyDog) is done training & ready for full duty! This #TraumaDog is part of our #MentalHealth team, taking care of our #firefighters! The newest @VanFireRescue member will be introduced to media at #VFRS Fire Hall 1 on Monday, June 11, at 11 am.’

Lola’s handler is Acting Captain Steve Fraser. Today, they will also talk about the current state of mental health care for the first responders and how Lola will make the world a better place for our heroes.

At the beginning of this year, the provincial government announced that they would make some changes to help emergency workers recover from mental trauma experienced on the job.

The Workers Compensation Act has been expanded, and now firefighters, paramedics, police officers, sheriffs and corrections officers don’t need to prove that the work caused their illness.

As for Lola, she’s going to do her best and cheer everyone at the Vancouver Fire. She even has her own social media account!

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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