RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. — The newest member of the Orange County Fire Authority will leave the firefighting to his human coworkers. But Pax will be doing some heaving lifting when it comes to mental health as the OCFA’s first peer-support dog.

Firefighter Wade Munson, a member of the agency’s peer-support team, said Pax is part of the team to help bring fire stations a sense of home, make colleagues feel at ease and maybe even share a laugh as the pup drools on their uniforms or goes sniffing around for a treat.

Most importantly, Munson said Pax will be helping to normalize “the conversation around behavioral wellness, destigmatizing asking for help, especially in a culture of people that is really predisposed to being your type A, ‘I can help myself’ group of people.”