Accessibility links

Breaking News

Helping the Helpers

((Banner: Helping the Helpers))
((Reporter: Maxim Moskalkov))
((Camera: Andrey Degtyarev))
((Adapted by: Zdenko Novacki))
((VOA Russian))
((Map: Fairfax, Virginia))

((Matt Giese, First Responders K9))
First Responders K9 trains and provides service dogs to first
responders by first responders. Our motto is, “for first responders
in the line of service”. So, mobility issues, PTSD, traumatic brain
injury and so on, tend to be individuals that can benefit from these
((Chris Sharp, Fairfax Police Department))
Right now, as we start to focus that training, it’s focused towards
disability. So, the dogs being able to open up doors, the dogs
being able to press the handicapped little sign so the doors will
open, dogs being able to grab items for the owner. So, that's a
focus that the dogs will eventually get near the end of their
training and that comes into play as the person who is going to
get the dog is identified and we find out what their disability is.
((Edwin Roessler, Chief, Fairfax County Police))
It's been a blessing because I am learning not only from my
trainer Kaitlin and my K9 Indy but everybody else to become a
more patient human being. I started to bring Indy into the office
and be with her 24/7. People on my floor and in the building,
where there are other dogs, it has become a happy place and
people always want to take Indy or the other dogs out for a walk.
It humanizes us, especially in the community.
((Dustin, Fairfax Police Department))
Now, she's working a lot with behavioral stuff. How to say hello to
people, how to interact in public, in large groups, how to socialize
with other people and other animals. There's a certain way that
they can do it and ultimately, they want to keep it a dog that is
very well behaved in public.
((Chris Sharp, Fairfax Police Department))
A lot of people don't realize is that when the police are called, it's
not because someone is having a very good day. During any 10-
hour shift or a 12-hour shift, we have to see the worst side of a lot
of people. And we have to take what's going on at one moment
and kind of change our face and go to the next call and pretend
like the thing that we went into before never happened.