National OK9 network: Fire and Rescue Service

Say ‘hello’ to the OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dogs and their handlers in the Fire and Rescue Service.

These dogs are all members of the national OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dog network and are able to attend the aftermath of a major incident to support those affected by trauma. They also get the opportunity to attend national events and to support our wellbeing outreach service. 


Freddie the Cocker Spaniel - Humberside FRS OK9 wellbeing dog


  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Cuddles
  • Character / traits: Very calm, his tail never stops wagging

Freddie is looked after by Lisa Smith from HFRS. Lisa said: "Freddie was from South Yorkshire Spaniel Re-Homing Centre after I had lost my young cocker spaniel to cancer. He is now 11 years old and is the most gentle loving dog which is why I knew he’d be perfect to be HFRS's first-ever wellbeing and trauma support dog.

"I worked as a vet nurse before doing my nurse training so combining my two passions, people and animals is like a dream job for me!" Freddie is available for staff visits/community events by getting in touch with occupational health admin."


Kellan the Greyhound standing in a field wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Greyhound
  • Likes: Snuggles, cheese, leaning, people and other dogs, sleeping
  • Favourite toy: Squeaky ball, and a squeaky toy
  • Character / traits: Gentle and kind, rarely barks and very rarely growls
  • Favourite food: Sprats, cheese, and Greek yoghurt

Angie Jones is a health and wellbeing lead for the service. Angie said: "I have only been in post for a short while. I registered both my Greyhounds to be Pets As Therapy dogs pre-covid, so I know the fantastic impact support dogs have on people at times of worry or stress.

"Kellan is particularly good with people with high anxiety or stress as he is very calm and gentle which can be very soothing, whilst his projected strength is relaxing."


FRS Cavapoo Ronnie looking at the camera wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Cavapoo
  • Likes: Balls, people, cuddles, walks, attention
  • Favourite toy: Rubber bouncy ball
  • Character / traits: Bubbly character, loves people and other dogs
  • Favourite food: Carrots, and dog treats

Ronnie's handler is Wayne Gale, a station manager currently working in operational response. Wayne is also part of the health and wellbeing team and the lead for Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) for the service.

Wayne said: "Although it's early days, I have found being an OK9 dog handler rewarding and am amazed at how Ronnie can change the mood in a room as well as get people to open up about mental health."


Koli is sitting on the ground looking at the camera wearing an OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Newfypoo
  • Likes: Chin scratches and butt rubs
  • Favourite toy: An Ikea cat he found on a walk
  • Character / traits: Inherently lazy, loves to eat and sleep, loves chasing squirrels
  • Favourite food: Pizzle sticks

LFB Firefighter Shelley is Koli's handler. Shelley said: "Koli is my semi-retired life saving boy. He helped pull me out of the dark depths of PTSD.

"He has arthritis so now accompanies Peggy and I on visits, where he works the room in his own time in his own way. He has a magic ability to form deep connections with certain people, and can win anyone over with his eyes."


Peggy is sitting looking away from the camera wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Old English Sheepdog cross unknown (rescue)
  • Likes: Anything wet or muddy, and cuddles - or wet and muddy cuddles
  • Favourite toy: A stuffed donkey whose ears she sucks
  • Character / traits: Super friendly, high on life, slightly scatty loving girl who squeaks with excitement when she goes out to station to make new friends
  • Favourite food: Pizzle sticks

Shelley is Peggy's handler. Shelley said: "I’ve been a firefighter for 13 years and after my own struggles with PTSD and poor mental health, I’ve spent the last few years trying to make a difference in the mental health of others.

"I am passionate about affecting change within my service and supporting those in need. Nobody should struggle with their mental health alone. Being part of OK9 means I get to share the love, and almost magical positive effects of Peggy, on all those we visit."


Coco the Cocker Spaniel sitting in a field between two other dogs


  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Attention
  • Favourite toy: People!
  • Character / traits: Cannot get enough of people. All people!
  • Favourite food: All food

Andy Nash is Coco's handler (Coco is the middle one in the picture).

Andy said: "I am the WBTSD SPOC for Norfolk. I am also the dog handler for urban search & rescue with Axel. My main role is watch manager of arguably the best watch in Norfolk."


OK9 wellbeing dog Kurt standing in a field looking at the camera


  • Breed: Miniature Schnauzer
  • Likes: Long walks and heavy metal
  • Favourite toy: Llewellyn the Lion
  • Character / traits: Often has a grumpy look on his face, but he’s happy inside and very loyal
  • Favourite food: Salmon steaks

Bryn Wright is Kurt's handler. Bryn said: "I’ve recently started my journey as a firefighter in Norfolk. This is an exciting time for me as I get to support and add value to the local community. Even more exciting is having the opportunity to work alongside my dog to provide such a worthwhile service as an OK9 handler, I cannot be any prouder of him. I’m sure he fully understands the importance of his role and relishes the chance to make a difference."


Luna sitting on grass looking away from the camera


  • Breed: Cockerpoo
  • Likes: People, walks, and treats
  • Favourite toy: Penguin and tennis ball
  • Character / traits: Friendly, playful, cuddly
  • Favourite food: Chicken

"I’m David, a station manager with Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. I am responsible for the training and development of our staff, predominantly new recruits.

"Within our recruit delivery, we discuss the importance of mental health and wellbeing specifically when it comes to dealing with challenging or traumatic events. So when the opportunity arose to become an OK9 handler, I volunteered, as it will be a great addition to supporting our colleagues through any challenges that they may encounter. Luna and I are looking forward to supporting individuals as part of the OK9."


Pip standing on grass looking at the camera


  • Breed: Jack Russel cross
  • Likes: Treats, playing ball, cuddles, and belly scratches
  • Favourite toy: Anything that squeaks
  • Character / traits: Playful, small but mighty
  • Favourite food: Steak

Pip's handler is Michelle Lowe. Michelle is the watch manager at Stalham Fire Station and crew manager (learning & development) at Bowthorpe Training and Development Centre.

Michelle said: "As an OK9 handler I look forward to taking Pip out in the hope she brings as much fun/stress relief to the people she meets as she does me. Pip is full of life, loves to play and is a great listener. She is only small (often mistaken for a puppy) but she has a big heart."


Sky laying on grass looking away from the camera


  • Breed: American Akita and German Shepherd cross
  • Likes: Food, fuss, belly rubs 
  • Character / traits: Very gentle, placid
  • Favourite food: Roast dinner

"My name is Kris, I am a firefighter from Sandringham where I have been for the past 19 years. The whole OK9 course was a fantastic insight into what it's going to be like for the wellbeing trauma support dogs and as wellbeing is such an important part of our life now to be a part of this group is a privilege and I really want to promote and help people that are struggling with mental health. 

"My dog Sky is an absolute delight. She’s very patient and she’s brilliant with my two young children who climb all over her, I am pretty confident she will be an asset to the OK9 family."    


Missy is a black Cockapoo with some brown fur around her mouth. She is sitting looking at the camera.


  • Breed: Cockapoo
  • Likes: Being with people, muddy walks, and being on the paddleboard
  • Favourite toy: She loves her teddies, and has too many to choose a favourite from
  • Character / traits: 

    Relaxed in all environments, loves to snuggle, is very sociable, and always greets with one of her toys in her mouth

  • Favourite food: Any human food she can guilt you into giving her

Missy's handler is Ffion who works in the D&T department providing support for fire and police. Ffion said:

"I have had Missy from a puppy and she has been so loving and always wanting fuss from day one. Throughout covid, she came to work with me and I have seen the positive effect she has had on everyone she meets.

"People were coming into the IT office just to have a cuddle from her if they were having a bad day. I love that having a dog around gets people talking and makes people smile and I’m glad to be a part of it."


FRS Olive the Cocker Spaniel wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Life, people, and Mark's shoes
  • Favourite toy: Tennis balls
  • Character / traits: Calm nature and a high level of emotional intelligence
  • Favourite food: Anything she isn't allowed

Olive was adopted by Mark in August 2020 from a Northamptonshire-based animal rescue charity after being seized by the Police under the Animal Welfare Act. She hasn’t let her difficult past stand in her way and is now loving life and enjoying being the first wellbeing dog for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS).

She is having a positive impact on the employees of the service and loves the role and the attention and takes it all in her stride. Her calm temperament, love of people, and her aptitude to sense people’s emotions have meant that she is a natural in the role and is a welcome addition to the wellbeing team within NFRS.