Dogs assist Carmel Fire Dept. in making public safety video


The canine parade came in all shapes and sizes from a 3-pound teacup Chihuahua to a 220-pound English mastiff.

More than 135 dogs showed up June 26 to help the Carmel Fire Dept. and costumed mascot Sparky make a video called “Sparky’s Helper” at Prairie Trace Elementary School in Carmel. Each dog got a Sparky’s Helper bandana with the CFD logo on it.

Tim Griffin, CFD information officer, said dogs were grouped into categories by breeds, sizes and abilities for the video as part of a national fire safety program.

“Our goal is to get the video in the elementary schools and present the new assistant to Sparky,” Griffin said of a dog that had already been selected.

Mandy Long, a Carmel resident, saw a Facebook post about the event and brought her dog, Dempsey, 1 1/2-year-old French bulldog.

“My husband said he if we got a dog he wanted him to be named after the greatest soccer player of all time, Clint Dempsey,” said Long, who was joined by her son, Cooper.

Carmel residents Brad Rider and Wendy Albrecht brought their dog, Axle, an English mastiff.

“He’s about 220 pounds. He’s not the biggest mastiff we’ve had,” Rider said. “We had one that was up to 260.”

Axle plopped down by the fan on the warm evening.

“We love supporting the community and Carmel Fire Dept.,” Rider said. “We love these guys.”

The same is true for Carmel residents Dale Herr and his wife, Cathy. Herr, a retired Carmel High School physics teacher, spent nine years as firefighter for the Indianapolis Fire Dept. before becoming a teacher.

As a former firefighter, Herr said he always wanted a Dalmatian, the traditional firehouse dog. Her had previously owned golden retrievers but now has his first Dalmatian, 5-month-old Spanner.

CFD Chief David Haboush joined the fun, posing for pictures with Sparky and bringing his daughter, Lily, who will be a Creekside Middle School seventh-grader in August, and golden retriever, Emma.