Meet Dexter, the East Midlands Fire Investigation Dog and the star of our latest video – with 16 pairs of specialist boots to attend over 200 incidents in a year across four different Fire and Rescue Services, he is never far from a job.
Working across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire alongside hydrocarbon dog handler Dave Coss, Dexter attends all kinds of incidents as part of the Fire Investigation process, often being mobilised to multiple incidents in one day!
Dexter is a hydrocarbon dog, meaning that he is specially trained to detect accelerants which have been used to start a fire, such as petrol, and is rewarded with his favourite squeaky tennis ball when he has discovered something.
He also has his own life jacket for working near water and a harness for working at height.
Explaining how the pair work together, Dave said: “As you can see in the video, Dexter is trained to search every new environment to locate accelerant, and when he has found something he gives what is called a passive indication by stopping and pointing his nose at the area and wagging his tail before being given his reward.
“We are both deployed to search fire scenes in all kinds of environments, from house fires, to those in larger buildings and vehicles and often our work takes us further afield than outside the four counties. We often assist South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and have even been as far as Norfolk and Hereford and Worcester.”
Dave recently set up his own Twitter account to showcase his and Dexter’s work which you can follow at @Midsdog.