Local ambulance service adds therapy dog

February 27, 2019 08:10 AM

HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WHEC) -- A local ambulance service has a new member: a dog.  

Marley, a 6-year-old mixed breed rescue, is CHS Mobile Integrated Healthcare's new therapy dog. She comes to work every day with her owner Gabrielle Herget, the agency's office manager.

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"When somebody is in a stressful situation, whether it's an illness or emotional situation, she kind of sets that tone of, 'I'm here, you can pet me, you can sit with me',” Hergert said. “She loves to play she loves to be out and about." 

CHS was created as part of a merger between Chili, Henrietta, Scottsville, and Caledonia volunteer ambulances. It provides emergency medical services throughout Monroe County and parts of Livingston County. 

First responders are constantly put in high stress situations on the job. Studies show therapy dogs can reduce stress and help people calm down. CHS officials have been looking into adding a dog to the office for a while. 

"Our providers everyday encounter very different stressful situations. When they come back to the base and get to see Marley and her just being around, it's already the comradery that it's brought," Hergert said. "It helps with their stress level, and gets them to be able to reset, and kind of disengage from the moments they have to encounter just being out in the field and in the community." 

Marley went through an eight-week course to become a certified therapy dog. 

Soon, CHS will begin taking Marley out into the community. She will go to blood pressure clinics at local nursing homes, and also make visits to local libraries.


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