A NEW fire investigation dog has joined the ranks at West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS).
Giddy, an 11-month-old English Springer Spaniel, is part of the Fire Investigation and Prevention Section after successfully completing her training with handler Alex Daw.
The pair, who will now live and work together, are ready to be deployed to fire scenes where Giddy will sniff out evidence to determine what was used when a blaze was started deliberately.
They completed the same six-week training which replicated the real-life scenes they will be faced with.
While working Giddy will wear boots to protect her paws from glass and other sharp objects.
Alex, a watch commander and a fire investigator, said: “Giddy will identify evidence at fire scenes. She will help to bring to justice criminals who deliberately start fires.
“She has an amazing temperament – so relaxed and docile. Although our children have now grown up, we’re all really excited to have her at home.
“She started out as a working dog, so a priority will be teaching her how to be a pet when she’s ‘off duty’.”
Regional fire investigation dog handler, Dave Coss, of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, oversaw the duo’s training, said: “It was a learning curve from start to finish for both Giddy and Alex. They’ve done a lot of work to get to this point. Now, a bit like after passing your driving test, they’ll continue to learn whilst they’re out in the field.”
Giddy is the latest in a line of fire dogs to join WMFS – she is ready to follow in the footsteps of fire dog Kai who died last month.
WMFS station commander Matt Ling, who heads WMFS Fire Investigation and Prevention Section, said: “Kai served our communities amazingly and is very much missed, but Giddy is already showing that she’ll be a valuable member of the team.
“Working alongside our expert human fire investigators, she will help to make sense of what can often be very challenging and complex scenes.”