A team of dogs is undergoing a year of training so the animals can help to respond to crises across the country.
The National Response Canines respond to natural disasters, mass shootings and other mass casualty events.
Friday the group visited Fire Station Two in St. Lucie County to meet the firefighters and to familiarize themselves with the trucks and specialized equipment they may find themselves around.
“The sooner we get on scene, the more likely we can prevent that long-term dysfunction among people,” Connie Jantzen said. "We make sure that people are safe physically, but we also make sure they’re safe psychologically.”
Jantzen says the dogs present a level of comfort that allows for people to heal faster. The animals are there for the victims, but the first responders too.
St. Lucie County firefighter Logan Blake said: "It was really neat being able to work with these guys. I can see how they can help in a stressful situation.”
The training lasts a year and once they’re ready the animals stay with their new owners and respond when called upon.