NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Niskayuna Fire Department held a response training Monday so firefighters and service dogs could get used to one another. The training is called Operation at Ease.
Fire officials said this allows firefighters to simulate calls that include a service dog in the home and how to properly handle it. Officials said it can be scary for both the firefighter, who is not comfortable with the dog at a home they go to, as well as for the animal who may see the firefighters in all of their gear and cannot see their face.
“Going into a house fire, it is already dark, there is smoke, it is a scary scenario,” Niskayuna Second Asst. Fire Chief Gerry Barbiero said. “If we know individuals are in there, our mission is to save lives as best as we can without jeopardizing our own lives at the same time. So if we can get this training done with these dogs, that actually makes our lives easier.”
Officials said they did the training with service dogs because they are trained to be more protective of their owners, but they also try to use the training involving all dogs.