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Fire dogs and handlers celebrate one year as a team

Posted on 07 November 2023

Tuesday 7 November 2023 marks the first anniversary of the regional fire investigation dog unit being set up within Nottinghamshire, formed of two dogs and two dog handlers.

Dave Coss and Ginny, and Tim Marston and Barney have been working together as a team for one year.

We are proud of the contribution the dogs and their handlers make to investigating fires and securing convictions for offenders.

Over the past year, the team have achieved a lot and here are some of the highlights:

  • In the last year, the Fire Investigation Dog Unit which consists of Barney, Ginny and formerly Dexter (January to April but now retired) have attended 200 incidents, assisting Tier 2 Fire Investigations throughout the East Midlands and beyond.
  • As part of a joint investigation team with our colleagues in police and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI), the dogs have played their part by securing sufficient evidence resulting in over 109 years’ worth of combined custodial sentences for arsonists within the East Midlands region and Staffordshire.
  • The team have successfully qualified three new dogs this year including Barney, Ginny, and Giddy for West Midlands Fire Service.
  • Investigations during 2022/2023 have been carried out as far afield as Hereford and Worcester, the West Midlands, Staffordshire, and Northamptonshire.
  • The team has been part of BBC Crimewatch twice this year, as well as attending National Fire Investigation Dog Handler’s Association training events as far afield as Bournemouth and the Fire Service College in Gloucestershire. Tim holds a committee position within the National Association, representing and supporting Fire Investigation dog teams throughout the UK. 
  • Tim and Dave are responsible for running regional Tier 1 Fire Investigation courses. Over 130 fire personnel have attended, or are due to attend, the two-day course during 2023.
  • The team have voluntarily attended 17 open days throughout the region this year to promote fire safety awareness.
dave and tim and dogs Ginny, one of the East Midlands fire investigation dogs.