EMS Puppy for Ambulance Company employees

An Illinois ambulance company has a new team member.

Paramedics, EMTs and dispatchers welcomed a furry, four-legged, black labrador puppy to their team.

Star Ambulance crews affectionately named the puppy, Stryker.

Although personnel said getting Stryker required a lot of convincing from the agency’s owners, he has already made a positive impact at the station.

“A lot of people wanted him, and he’s a good stress reliever,” EMT Amber Strong told WREX. “We go on some pretty hard calls sometimes and so just coming back and cuddling with a puppy is pretty good fun.”

“Even me just answering the phones … I get six calls back-to-back and it’s like by the time I’m done and I look at him it’s like, OK, I feel a little bit better now,” dispatcher Stephanie Barton said.

Stryker is still working on potty training. But the paramedics, EMTs and dispatchers finally got their way. And already they say they’re seeing a difference in station morale and happiness.

“I think it’s a great idea. Great stress relief. You can play with him,” said EMT basic Bryan Kraft.

There is someone at Star Ambulance 24/7 so Stryker is never alone. And workers say some of them actually take him home as he works on his potty training.

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