Capt. Shawn Campana needed an escape. The stress and pressures of working in Miami-Dade Fire Rescue were beginning to weigh on her.
Enter Charlie, a 3-year-old Greyhound she adopted in 2015.
“There’s light again,” Campana said of Charlie, “and there hasn’t been in some time. He was the only thing that made that happen.” Four years later, she stood next to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and County Commissioner Sally Heyman as the trio announced the expansion of the K9 Response Program. The program, which Campana started in 2016, is designed to help first responders cope with occupational stress and victims in crisis situations.
As a former firefighter, this program holds special place in Gimenez’s heart.
“I know firsthand how tough it can be to see the loss of life that we often have to face,” Gimenez told reporters Monday at Haulover Park in Northeast Miami-Dade.
The program, a leader across the nation, has two functions.