AMR New Mexico Adds Curly Haired, Four-Legged Sweetheart to EMS Team


Therapy dog, "Doc" will help Albuquerque Paramedics, EMTs and Flight Crews with work-related stress.
The teams of American Medical Response (AMR) Albuquerque are now likely to be greeted with a wagging tail when they arrive for work. AMR, the ambulance service provider for the area, recently added an Australian Labradoodle to the team. Doctor Duke of Albuquerque, or Doc for short, was born in February and will spend some time training to become a certified therapy dog.

Doctor Duke was named through a poll of the AMR operations around the state. Doc the therapy dog will serve as a guiding light for the first responders and citizens of Albuquerque. His role is to help AMR teams including, EMTs, paramedics, nurses, pilots, communications staff, and partners, express and release stress associated with their work. Michael Cavit, New Mexico Mobile Integrated Health Supervisor said Doc is just one of the latest additions to its therapy dog program.

"Global Medical Response, our parent company, now has more than 30 therapy dogs at work in EMS systems across the U.S.,” Cavit said. “The GMR Therapy Dog Program began in Amarillo, Texas, in 2016 and now includes working canines from Florida to the Hawaiian Islands. Once he completes his training and certification, Doc will be available to first responders and community members to help bring needed comfort during times of stress. Doc and his fellow canines are also available for deployments ranging from mass-casualty incidents and natural disasters to local events and emergencies."

To become certified, Doc will work with a professional trainer and his primary handler from AMR, Michael Cavit and secondary handler Richard Doty from AMR. His certification will require him to master a lot of skills including, basic commands and the ability to remain focused when presented with distractions such as other animals and food. All GMR dogs are introduced to their operations as puppies because dogs are more receptive to training when they are young. By starting his work early, Doc will also have the opportunity to bond with the first responder state of mind.

In 2017, GMR sent therapy dogs to help first responders in Las Vegas after the Route 91 Music Festival mass shooting. In August 2019, GMR sent therapy dogs to help El Paso first responders after a mass shooting.
AMR New Mexico Adds Curly Haired, Four-Legged Sweetheart to EMS Team