Essex fire dogs take just minutes to cover 20 acres and find the ‘casualty’ in training exercise

PUBLISHED: 17:16 07 September 2020

Graham Currie of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service with Jarvis (front left) and Fizz (front right). Picture: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Graham Currie of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service with Jarvis (front left) and Fizz (front right). Picture: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Two dogs from Essex Fire and Rescue Service joined dogs from Kent, Hampshire and Merseyside for a training exercise.

Jarvis and Fizz took part in the service’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and International Search and Rescue (ISAR) commitment.

They used the vacant former Lexden Springs School building next to Essex’s USAR site in Colchester for search and rescue and fire investigation exercises. Nearby woods, Lexden Gathering Grounds, were used to replicate a search and rescue scenario.

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Dog handler Graham Currie said: “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 fire and rescue service is working closely with Essex Police and other organisations so they can share expertise.


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