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One man is thanking crews with the Richmond Ambulance Authority for the care they showed him in a moment of need.

On January 22, Adam Swanson said he needed to get to the hospital. Swanson said he was feeling nauseous, started vomiting and became dehydrated.

“I called 911 because I was obviously in desperate need of getting to the hospital without transportation,” he said.

Swanson said EMTs Ta’shawn Arrington and Wade Shearin rushed to his side and even accommodated his service dog, Titan.

Swanson is blind, has cancer and lives with multiple other disabilities. He has relied on the support of service animals like Titan for the past 20 years.

“There were no questions. They did exactly what they were supposed to do,” Swanson said.

The EMT’s said they loaded Swanson and Titan on the ambulance together, and made sure they were comfortable.

“I basically got out and immediately went for the dog as my partner went to take care of the patient, because I could tell that he was agitated,” Shearin said.

Caring for Titan just came natural to Shearin, as he followed the Authority’s procedures of providing care to people with disabilities and service animals. Since working with the company, Shearin said there haven’t been many calls for patients with service dogs.

“A lot of the reason is because patients with service dogs are afraid that EMS won’t come to them,” said Shearin.

The pandemic caused some agencies to pause accommodating service animals for health reasons.

For Swanson, the authority’s crew went above and beyond to care for both him and Titan. He hopes more agencies, like his own housing authority, follows RAA’s lead in accessibility for everyone.

“Let this be a new leash on life for opportunity, because it is an opportunity. Freedom is what he [Titan] gives me,” he said.

Swanson has requested Arrington and Shearin for future ambulance rides.