Chief Morale Booster, a Rapid City Fire Department job fit for a dog

RCFD Fire Chief Jason Culberson’s dog Dexter is the man or man’s best friend behind the title.
The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 10:05 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A fire station is home to many jobs, each with its own intense stressors.

For the Rapid City Fire Department, the job of Chief Morale Booster, maybe one of the most difficult and needed. And maybe the furriest.

“Dexter’s our resident fire dog,” said Rapid City Fire Chief Jason Culberson. “He’s my dog and he comes to work with me. But he’s considered part of the department, enjoys it.”

Dexter is the man or man’s best friend behind the title.

“He is the chief morale booster,” said Culberson.

Since he was a pup, Dexter has taken his job very seriously.

“One thing that I notice, being Dexter’s dad if you will, is that he is a different dog here than he is at home. He does treat this like his job and he comes and he acts a certain way,” explained Culberson. “I’d done research over the course of time about how mental health for first responders and one of the things they do to combat that is to have pets.... It’s been proven time and time again; it decreases your heart rate, decreases your stress, your blood pressure, everything.”

Dexter has an impact on Rapid City Firefighters daily but his social media presence pushes his role as a morale booster out into the community.

“We did a video a year and a half ago where we stuck a go pro on him and you got to see a day in the life of Dexter,” continued Culberson. “So we did that and it got some really good press out of that, it seemed like the public seemed to enjoy it a lot. So decided we needed to give him a social media presence, it’s just a good way for us to show a different angle of what our department is and how we interact with the public.”

Dexter brings joy to those around him and considering his love for the station, he’ll continue to do so for years and years to come.

“He really really likes to come here,” said Culberson. “It’s his favorite place.”

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