November 18, 2021 – EMSA’s Eastern Division has officially welcomed its newest member to the team – Charlie. Charlie is a 6-month-old Aussiedoodle and serves EMSA team members by offering love and companionship after a stressful shift, difficult call, or other situation where a dog’s unconditional affection is the best medicine.
EMSA District Chief Jacob Harrington’s mother, who breeds Aussiedoodles, donated him to EMSA earlier this year. Initially, Charlie lived offsite while growing accustomed to obedience direction, bathroom habits, and feeding times. Since September, Charlie has resided in EMSA’s Logistics Department and happily greets team members before and after their shifts, often throwing himself at their feet to get some attention and pets. EMSA team members follow a strict set of rules pertaining to Charlie. Supervisors monitor everything from nutritional guidelines, handling, and enrichment to keep Charlie healthy and happy.
“From four in the morning until eight in the morning he is up and active. He is interacting with every person who comes through the door. They are giving him belly rubs, throwing his toy – he is super happy,” Tammy Corley, one of Charlie’s many handlers in EMSA’s Logistics Department, said “He is cuddly and sweet, and everybody loves him.”
After running 911 calls for 12-hours, EMSA crews have the opportunity to decompress and play with Charlie. EMSA team members, especially during the stress of the ongoing pandemic, have commented on how much they look forward to interacting with Charlie.“Charlie is incredibly affectionate and sweet. He loves everyone,” Ashley Harrington, EMSA Special Event Scheduler, said.
Charlie is available to all EMSA team members, regardless which department they call home. Team members are encouraged to take Charlie for walks, play with his toys and do puppy enrichment exercises with Charlie. He greets new EMSA recruits during their Orientation Academy. Charlie’s food, care, and other needs are a budgeted line item under Team Member Relations and Morale in EMSA’s annual budget. So far, Charlie is proving to be a worthy investment.