LA County Fire Capt. Carrie A. Henger-Neff played a key role in the development of the department's K9 program
By Jonathan Gonzalez | KNBC-TV Los Angeles
| Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 | Updated 4:45 PM PDTEach year, the Los Angeles County Fire Department honors firefighters who gave their lives protecting the community, and this year's tribute was for a woman who made a lasting impact on the department.
Fire Capt. Carrie A. Henger-Neff had her name inscribed on the department's Memorial Wall Wednesday, two years after she died of job-related ovarian cancer at the age of 54.
Henger-Neff was the first woman in the department's Honor Guard, but her impact on the department was influenced by her love for animals and her first career choice: training animals.
"Carrie was truly one of our department's visionaries," said then-Fire Chief Michael Freeman at her 2010 memorial. "She will always be remembered for giving our firefighters another great option for saving lives: the canine."
But once she saw how critical service dogs were in search and rescue missions, she was able to use her experience with animals to develop the department's official K9 program, said Owen Anderson, Henger-Neff's sister.
"That was a perfect way for her to use her two passions," Anderson said.
Henger-Neff's last deployment sent her to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 with her third service dog, Doc, and her vision still lives on today.
While retired, she saw K9's play a crucial part in the 2010 Haiti earthquake's search and rescue efforts.
Her second service dog, Sprocket, also died of cancer one week after Henger-Neff died, on what would've been both of their birthdays.
The honor Henger-Neff received goes to firefighters who died in the line of duty or died of work-related injuries within five years of retirement.
"Each member of our community understands … that the first responders of this department are among the few who get up every morning with the intent of putting their lives on the line for the rest of us," County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said during Wednesday's ceremony.
"When a firefighter puts his life on the line and loses his or her life … it's a great loss for the people of this county."Source: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Fallen-Female-Firefighter-Honored-Visionary-Cancer-K9-148012165.html?_osource=Newsletter-Daily
Check out http://groups.yahoo.com/group/californiadisasters/
Read my blog at http://eclecticarcania.blogspot.com/
My Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/derkimster
Linkedin profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kim-noyes/9/3a1/2b8
Follow me on Twitter @DisasterKim