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Crisis Canines to attend Fallen Heroes ceremony to comfort victims' families

Posted at 8:48 AM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 08:48:00-04

TIMONIUM, Md (WMAR) — Today is a day to honor our fallen heroes, all the police officers, firefighters and emergency medical and rescue personnel who have died in the line of duty in Maryland this year.

In its 37th year at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, the Fallen Heroes ceremony is honoring an unprecedented 15 fallen heroes, including Baltimore City Police Officer Keona Holley who was killed in an ambush style attack and the firefighters killed in the vacant row home fire: Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler and firefighter/paramedic Kenny Lacayo.

The Lt. Governor and Baltimore County Executive will deliver remarks. There will be a procession of Honor Guard units from all across the state, the families of the fallen heroes will be presented with a replica of the memorial, and it will conclude with a 21 gun salute, taps and a fly over.

Joining their family and friends at the ceremony today is Debby Rosenberg and her rescue dog Millie from Carroll County. They travel all over the country providing strength, comfort and emotional support with Crisis Response Canines.

They were on scene during the fatal Stricker Street fire to help first responders and their families, and spent days with the Baltimore City and Wheaton fire departments.

“We were asked to go back several times because the dogs provided support that people just can’t do. Very quiet, very calming, and seeing them again, I’m sure they will recognize them. The dogs that are going to be here are the same dogs that were there and I think it’s gonna provide another added layer of support for them,” said Rosenberg.

She has years of experience as an ER nurse and understands the need to have dogs around at traumatic events and at the ceremony.

“Fallen Heroes Day is really important. It’s near and dear to our heart. Most of us are first responders, fire, police and EMS. We have firsthand experience with trauma. We see it every day. We put our life on the line and coming to this type of event, showing our respect for those people is really important to us,” said Rosenberg.

Crisis Response Canines have deployed all across the U.S. to provide comfort during a crisis, including Orlando after the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting and Parkland after the Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School shooting. They would love to expand their team, with more dogs across the country.

“We should rely on them [dogs] more. They provide a layer of comfort and knowledge and sense of belonging and that we are important and I think dogs are great for this and I think there needs to be a lot more teams out there doing this,” said Rosenberg.

The ceremony starts at 1 p.m. It’s open to the public and will also live streamed on the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens Facebook page.