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Fire Investigation Dog

June 25, 2020

ESSEX’S first ever Fire Investigation dog is now working to protect the county after completing her training recently.

Three-year-old Sprocker Spaniel Fizz will take part in fire investigations across Essex for an initial six month trial period, and support Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) in understanding how fires started, as well as why they may have escalated.

Fizz, who was trained by handler Graham Currie and certificated and licensed by Essex Police, will be based at ECFRS’ Urban Search and Rescue site in Lexden, near Colchester.

Fizz’s work will help in criminal investigations: in cases of deliberate fires and potential arson, she can identify up to 30 flammable liquids and solids, many of which are completely odourless to humans.

As well as her operational capabilities, Fizz and her detection skills will act as a deterrent to potential arsonists in communities across Essex. With arson crimes often difficult to solve, it is hoped Fizz will improve investigations of deliberate fires in both urban and rural settings.

Jo Turton, Chief Fire Officer at ECFRS, said: “Introducing Fizz is a really positive step for our fire investigation process and protection work, which are both vital in making Essex a safe place to live, work and travel.

“Fizz will help us to understand more about how fires start and help inform our work to identify trends and prevent further similar incidents happening.

“Collaboration and working more closely with partners to provide a better service for the people of Essex is one of our priorities and this is another example of how we’re trying to do just that.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “We are so pleased to see that Fizz has her accreditation and will be joining the other fantastic dogs working across both the fire and rescue service and police force here in Essex.

“The collaboration shown here by both services, be it human or canine, really shows what we can achieve by working together. By using innovative ideas and working as one team we can keep more people safe and as well as preventing and detecting crime.

“We can’t wait to hear about Fizz’s future successes.”

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