Celebration includes Chamber ribbon cutting for Hearts 4 Heroes organization


Tuesday ended much like it began for Folsom based charity Hearts 4 Heroes USA, with plenty of celebration amidst a special dedication.

Surrounded by members of the community and local dignitaries just after the five-o’clock hour at Folsom’s Fire Station 39 were Shelley and Bruce Martell, Founders the local organization for two different purposes.  

Watch as the Folsom Fire Department presents Blitz the Therapy Dog with his official FFD pin. Folsom Times Video

One, to celebrate National Therapy Dog Appreciation Day by honoring Blitz the Folsom Fire Department’s therapy dog with the issuing of his official Folsom Fire Department badge. The other, was the official Folsom Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting for Hearts 4 Heroes after its first year of success.

Hearts 4 Heroes was founded by Bruce and Shelley Martell. The organization fully funds all aspects for the dogs and handlers at each station and hospital, with in-house on-site training and group training continued weekly and biweekly. Their professional teams are committed to the wellness for the dogs and handlers at all times with open communication and training services.


When it comes to the evening event, it was the second event of its type Tuesday, after the local non-profit organization joined Mercy Hospital of Folsom to honor their therapy dog, Cinders.  Both dogs were provided by the Hearts 4 Heroes Paw Platoon. 


Blitz, came to the Folsom Fire Department after nearly five years of commitment and goals set forth by the Martell family and their unique Paw Platoon program. 

“We just really want to help bring their stress level down and make it easier for all of our heroes on the line,” says Martell. “We are very thankful to be able to partner with Folsom and bring a therapy dog into their life.”


After months of on the job and off the job training, Blitz has become a member of the Folsom Fire Department’s Peer Support Team that comes together all in the name of mental and emotional health, something that affects many first responders.  While he has already provided plenty of support while in training, the energetic Golden Doodle is now an official member of the team following Tuesday’s dedication. 

“I would like to thank the community of Folsom for their support, it has been a pivotal year for our organization in one year we have come so far, said Bruce Martell. “This was just an ideal a little over a year ago. I really want to thank the Folsom Fire Department for standing by us and believing in us.” 

In conjunction with the dedication of Blitz Tuesday evening, The Folsom Chamber of Commerce presented Hearts 4 Heroes USA with their official ribbon cutting.  Attendees and dignitaries stepped outside to celebrate the ribbon cutting in front of the fire station, where several dignitaries also honored the organization.

“Thank you everybody that just keeps just coming to us and stepping up, it seems like every time I turn around someone is there with a new idea and helping our foundation continued to pay it forward, “said Shelley Martell. “It really is overwhelming and a blessing.”

(See the entire conversation with the Martell’s in above Folsom Times video)

Among the presenters were representatives from the offices of Congressman Kevin Kiley, Assemblyman Josh Hoover, Assemblyman Roger Niello and County Supervisor Sue Frost. Multiple members of Folsom City Council were also on hand at the celebration, prior to their Tuesday night meeting. 

“Blitz helps us all every day,” said Folsom Fire Division Chief Chad Wilson. “We don’t realize what type of help we need or how we are impacted by our jobs every day until we have relief and Blitz has definitely extended that to us.”

To learn more about the Hearts 4 Heroes program or to donate and more, visit its website at www.hearts4heroesusa.org.

Folsom Times Photos: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.