Health & Wellness

Podcast Interview with Jake Windell, LA County Fire Peer Support Leader and K-9 Coordinator

Jim Aleski

August 15, 2023

“The dogs are trained up to a service dog levels…they’re used in a therapy dog aspect. We started bringing these dogs around to fire stations… to defusings, to debriefings, to critical stress debriefings... The amount of interaction we have when we go out and we just play fetch… and organically conversations start happening… one of the most uncomfortable things – especially if you’re in a vulnerable state - is making eye contact – but when you’re petting a dog and almost telling a dog your problems… that really allows guys to open up.” - FF/Paramedic Jake Windell, LA County Fire

NEP Media's Jim Aleski sits down with Jake Windell, a Firefighter/Paramedic from the Los Angeles County Fire Department who serves as his agency's Peer Support Leader and K-9 Coordinator. Jake talks about the peer support and mental health initiatives in place for LA County Fire Department members including a therapy dog program.

For more information on these programs, Jake can be reached via Los Angeles County Firefighters IAFF Local 1014 or at

Jim Aleski is a more than 25-year fire service veteran and career engine company Lieutenant in the Philadelphia metro area. Jim serves as a Branding and Content Specialist at NEP Services and formerly served as the Communications/Social Media Director for the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ), the state affiliate of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Prior to becoming a career firefighter, Jim responded as a volunteer while working for more than a decade as a media producer. Jim was involved in the production of hundreds of national TV commercials, network branding campaigns, music videos, and corporate communication projects. Jim holds a BS in Mass Communications from Emerson College and earned a MS in Fire and Emergency Management Administration from Oklahoma State University.