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Medical Rescue Team South Authority

A beloved Pittsburgh neighbor once told us all that when scary things happen, we should “look for the helpers.” Paramedics and EMTs take that a step further and BECOME the helpers, working tirelessly to serve their communities and running towards the scary things rather than away from them. These brave people receive extensive training to prepare for the physical demands of their jobs, but who helps our helpers prepare for the mental and emotional impacts of doing such a dangerous job with such high stakes? It is estimated that 85% of first responders have experienced symptoms related to mental health conditions such as depression, Post Traumatic Stress, and unfortunately suicide due to their constant exposure to traumatic and life-threatening events. Our goal is to help support all first responders by raising awareness of their unique challenges and helping them find ways to address and improve their mental health.

Introducing CJ, Medical Rescue Team South’s (MRTSA) official First ResPAWnder. Named for Dr. Clara Jean Ersoz in honor of her contributions to the development of Pittsburgh’s emergency medical services, CJ is a therapy dog who will offer comfort and support to our area’s first responders and help them reduce anxiety and depression they might experience on the front lines. His duties will include being in station 40 hours/week with his handler, visiting EMS/Police/Fire stations, 911 centers, as well as decompression sessions following difficult service calls. Other plans for CJ will also be to visit our elderly population residing in long-term care facilities, patients in hospitals, and as a community resource for those in need. In his time off, CJ lives a happy and loving life with his paramedic handler and family.

A portion of every sale made from this site goes directly to CJ's ongoing care and training needs so he is able to continue to support the everyday heroes who need him. Thank you for your support and your commitment to helping our helpers!