Trending Topics

Former paramedic who suffered brain injury wins service dog giveaway

Former volunteer Paramedic Andrew Camerino will receive a fully trained service dog for free

andrew and sailor.jpg

By EMS1 Staff

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A former Florida paramedic who became disabled after a massive brain injury has won a giveaway for a free trained service dog.

Former North Palm Beach Fire Rescue volunteer Paramedic Andrew Camerino was seriously injured in 2012 in a crime in front of his home, according to WPTV. As a result, he lives with vision, mobility and balance impairment, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“He has nightmares at night and wakes up screaming and doesn’t remember why,” said Camerino’s mother Christy. “He doesn’t always want to admit his limitations.”

Camerino was one of more than 250 people who entered the giveaway put on by the service animal training company Fine Line Family K-9, and was nominated by over 50 family members and friends. As the giveaway winner, Camerino will receive a free fully trained service dog, which would normally cost about $20,000.

“It’s super costly for people that need a service dog, and a lot of times people can’t afford them,” said Fine Line Family K-9 Co-Owner Ariana Santiago.

This was the first year the company hosted a service dog giveaway, and Santiago said they plan to host more in the future.

The service dog – a labradoodle named Sailor – will now complete more training customized to Camerino’s specific needs. Santiago said Camerino and his family will participate in the training to get to know Sailor.