Fire Investigation and Search dogs pass relicensing tests
Fire Investigation and Search dogs Fizz, Jarvis and Bailey have passed their annual relicensing tests alongside their handler, Graham Currie.
Jim Beaird, lead instructor from the Essex Police Dog Unit, put Graham, sprocker spaniel Fizz, cocker spaniel Jarvis and Labrador Bailey through their paces. They completed a series of tasks at the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) site in Lexden and a nearby 22-acre woodland as part of the National Police Chiefs Council's live Scent and Fire Investigation accreditation.
It was Bailey's first official test since joining the Service from the Dog's Trust last year - and he passed with flying colours!
Graham said: "It's amazing how far he's come from being written off - he's the most natural search dog I've ever seen.
"The accreditation means Bailey is now able to search for vulnerable missing persons. He's got more training and tests over the coming months, including searching underground, in tunnels and at height, but he's turning out to be the mos lovely dog.
"Thank you to Andy Comrie and Tom Jewell from our USAR team for being 'bodies' for the dogs to find; we wouldn't have been able to do it without their help.
"Thanks for Andy Nash, from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, who took part with his dog Axel, to Graham Howlett, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's dog handler, for setting up the process, and to Jim Beaird from Essex Police, for carrying our the accreditation."
Graham, Fizz, Jarvis and Bailey are all based at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service's USAR site in Lexden, Colchester.
Jarvis, nine, completed his training as a Search and Rescue Dog inn April 2019, Fixx, five, joined as ECFRS's first ever Fire Investigation Dog in 2020 and Bailey, two, also a Search and Rescue Dog, joined the team last year.
Bailey came from the Dogs Trust in Loughborough and is racing through his learning.
Jarvis attends search and rescue incidents in Essex and across the UK, and is part of International Search and Rescue (ISAR). Essex County Fire and Rescue Service are hoping Bailey will follow in his footsteps.
Fizz is trained to identify up to 30 flammable substances that can start fires to assist with fire and criminal investigations. She has proved invaluable in helping to establish the causes of fires and in providing the police with evidence for prosecutions.