Jenks Fire Department has a new team member called Ember

JENKS, Okla. — Jenks fire and rescue department has a new member of the team. Her name is Ember..

She’s a 4-month-old Vizsla puppy and is being trained as a facility dog. That means that she works with the firefighters at the stations under the care of her handler.

Her handler at Jenks fire department is Fire Chief, Greg Ostrum. He says that his three children named her, Ember.

“Over the years firefighters’ mental health is something that has been very important and they’ve identified having a comfort dog having that sort of thing will help relieve some of that stress that firefighters encounter,” saig Chief Ostrum.

Ember does the work of a therapy dog to give comfort and companionship to people at disaster and emergency scenes and is also helping firefighters with their mental health.

A study by UCLA says there are lots of mental and physical benefits of a therapy dog including helping improve mood, reduce anxiety and dogs can also help lower blood pressure.

Training takes about 18 months to two years, but she’s already working with the firefighters offering comfort and support as part of her training.

She’s only two months into her training but they’re hoping eventually she may also work as a search and rescue dog too.

She’s currently working on obedience right now.

She will also be involved in education and events happening in the city. She will help with public education and training for citizens

Ember is also allowed to go to all Jenks city facilities such as, city hall, public works and be involved in every meeting that the fire chief goes to.

It’s the first time the city of Jenks has had a facility dog and it’s the first time Chief Ostrum has trained a facility dog.

One Ember is working as a therapy dog, could search and rescue be part of her destiny too?

“She does have that skill, nose work and additional training beyond our first goal is to get her trained as a facility dog and comfort dog and then we’ll see where things go and how her training progresses. That might be something in the future she could do as well,” said Chief Ostrum.