P.E.I. fire department offers comfort to those who needed it most with stuffed toy Dalmatians
The Belfast Fire Department has a new tool to help comfort children on the scene of a fire.
The department is keeping some stuffed Dalmatian dogs in their fire trucks just in case they need them while they're on call.
Firefighter Trisha Carter suggested the idea. She used to work in British Columbia, where the toys are used.
She said she saw their impact up close.
"When someone is a child or somebody that might need an extra comfort, they're on the fire trucks for us to be able to give out," Carter said.
"They actually provide a lot of comfort to kids, especially. And I can decrease their stress during an event, whether they're the patient or one of their loved ones is one of our patients."
Carter said giving the pups to people is very rewarding, as well as practical.
"You can see them completely calm down. They could be our patient and you're trying to get them on a backboard to go to the hospital or they're bleeding, and it just really takes their attention away and it's really soothing," she said.
Carter said Dalmatians were picked because they're symbolic for firefighters.
She said hopefully none of the dogs actually get a new home.
"Giving them out is something that we don't necessarily want to do. But we are very excited to have them and give them when we need to," she said.
The department is taking care of paying for the stuffed animals. So far there's no name for the pups
The fire department said there may be a contest coming in the future.