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Fire Service dogs put through their paces at a national training exercise

Jarvis (pictured front left), Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s Search and Rescue dog and Fizz (pictured front right), the Service’s Fire Investigation dog, were joined by dogs from Kent, Hampshire and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services at a training exercise on 2 and 3 September, as part of the Service’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and International Search and Rescue (ISAR) commitment.

The vacant former Lexden Springs School building next to ECFRS’ USAR site was used for search and rescue and fire investigation exercises. While nearby woods, Lexden Gathering Grounds, were used to replicate a search and rescue scenario.

Graham Currie (pictured front right), the Service's USAR Dog Handler, said: "We put the dogs through their paces. They are trained to a really high standard in so many different elements so it is important to keep giving them input, whether that's obedience, agility or search training.

"In the woods, it took each dog a matter of minutes to cover 20 acres and find the 'casualty' high up a tree. It could have taken dozens of people searching for 24 hours to cover a similar area.

"It shows what an important role they play - whether that's in a search operation which means we don't have to commit firefighters or in an investigative role to make sure we find accelerants."

Graham said the Service's USAR team will use the former school building and woods for more training exercises in the future.

He said: "We are working closely with Essex Police and other organisations so we can share expertise."

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is recruiting wholetime firefighters, find out more at Fire Service dogs put through their paces at a national training exercise held in Colchester.http://join.essex-fire.gov.uk


Page last updated 4 September, 2020

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