Performance K9 Training launched its First Responder Peer Support Dog Program in 2019 after discovering how the number of suicides for our firefighters exceeded the number of line-of-duty deaths. The Peer Support Dog Program helps with the occupational stresses that our firefighters, law enforcement, and lifeguards face every day with the aid of a peer support dog. In addition to unprecedented wildfire seasons and high first responder call volumes, our first responders’ mental and physical health reached critical levels during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
To date, Performance K9 Training has trained peer support dogs for the Vista Fire Department; Los Angeles County Fire Department; Modesto Fire; San Fransisco Fire Department; Palm Springs Fire Department; Orange County Fire Authority; Los Angeles County Lifeguard, Palm Springs Police Department, and US Coast Guard. In the months ahead, additional peer support dogs will be placed with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Authority, Gilroy Fire Department, and Stockton Fire Department.