Police dogs are one of the greatest assets a department can have. As Time Warner Cable News Reporter Barry Wygel tells us, a new initiative in Fulton County is working to protect that asset, even if the worst should happen.
FULTON COUNTY, N.Y. -- Meet Samantha. She has a dangerous job as a police dog. She could find herself searching a criminal for narcotics, searching the woods for a missing person, or chasing down a suspect. She faces all the dangers that her partner Sheriff Deputy Justin Loomis faces, but until recently, if the worst should happen, she wouldn't have the life saving care she may need.
"We really kind of stepped up six months ago with full kits that we have put together for the emergency K-9 care," said Patrick Lurenz, a Paramedic with the Ambulance Service of Fulton County.
It was the Herkimer shootings and the death of FBI K-9 Ape, that the Fulton County Sheriffs office and ambulance service decided they needed to be ready if the worst were to happen to one of their own.
"It is definitely a good thing, because EMTs are all right there on some of these calls that we go to, so if anything ever happened they are right there," said Justin Loomis, a Deputy and K-9 Handler with the Fulton County Sheriff's Office.
"We have the O2 fur life kits, which are specifically related to oxygen delivery. We've put together some trauma kits for dealing with hemmorage, large amounts of bleeding," said Lurenz.
In fact, Lurenz and his crew members have already put their K-9 life saving skills to the test when they were called to a structure fire in Johnstown, and treated two dogs who suffered from smoke inhalation.
"I glad that we can provide the needed care so that we don't have any further injury or something that we can prevent with the dog," said Lurenz.
"It should've happened a long time ago, but it is definitely moving forward in a good direction," said Loomis.
For Deputy Loomis, he knows he can sleep well at night, assured that if the worst should happen to his K-9 partner, quality help is just seconds away.