A silver lab puppy named Ashes has joined the Roseville Fire Department.
Her job: Bring some calm to the busy Roseville firehouse where firefighters respond to nearly 7,000 emergency calls each year.
Ashes will help our firefighter/paramedics and firefighter/EMTs decompress and deal with the day-to-day stresses of the job. Roseville firefighters work 24-hour shifts away from their families, pets and the other creature comforts of home.
The pup will undergo training to become a certified service and therapy dog, and she will also eventually offer comfort to members of the public including families displaced by house fires.
“Her primary mission is focused on the folks here at the firehouse and their needs,” said Assistant Fire Chief Neil Sjostrom, who will be Ashes’ handler. “When we have a critical debriefing, she can work the room and be there for staff going through that process. She can also just hang out with the firefighters watching television and resting between calls.”
Ashes was born in Fisher, North Dakota in late summer. She officially joined Roseville Fire Department on Oct. 27 at just eight weeks old. After a few weeks of getting acclimated to her new surroundings, Ashes begins training with Soldier Six, a Minnesota-based nonprofit that provides veterans and first responders with specially trained dogs.
Several generous donations have made this venture possible. Community donations have provided the funds needed to purchase the dog, necessary equipment, and food for the first year. Soldier Six is providing the training for free. Rice Pet Clinic & Hospital is donating the first year of veterinary care.
Ashes splits her time between the firehouse and her handler’s home. She has some canine siblings to teach her the ropes. The Sjostrom family has a Dalmatian named Pyro and a black lab-mix named Chief Larry.
Follow Ashes on Instagram at @firedog_ashes to watch her grow up!