Fire Investigation Dogs – Week 8 Part 2


Continuing the 8th and last week of training and we were hosted by the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service at their Training and Development Academy who allowed us access to the ‘fire house’ which  provided different challenges to that of the crawling gallery by replicating conditions of a fire damaged domestic house.

Millie climbs the steps prior to entering the fire house.

Dave Peplow of Canine Specialist Services, who was our guide and training advisor for the week, explained that the individual rooms and floors of the fire house can be filled with smoke in a controlled manner for fire fighters’ to conduct their training.

Millie is put through her paces

This gave us an excellent opportunity to expose the dogs to the darkened, smoke scented and sooty conditions that they would be confronted with in an operational environment.

Mansell takes centre stage in the gloom of the fire house and gives a great indication on a tricky scent placement

Any doubts that we may have had quickly faded as all the dogs performed well in the challenging conditions.

A precise indication from Millie just prior to being rewarded

In potentially dangerous areas the need for on lead control is essential, demonstrated in this pic as Geoffrey investigates a dark void

The fire house training was the last challenge of the week for the dogs, and the culmination of what had proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable and ultimately successful training course. However, this is just the beginning for the dogs as they will be put up for acceptance by the Malaysian Fire Service in the near future as a new life and experiences awaits them in Kuala Lumpur.

On behalf of Vikkas Canine Services I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Lancashire and Merseyside Fire Services for their co-operation in allowing access to their training areas which has proved to be invaluable in the final stages of training. Finally, VCS are indebted to Dave Peplow and Mick Woods of Canine Specialist Services for their time, help, technical advice, and guidance during the last two weeks of training, the successful completion of which would not have been possible without them. Both Dave and Mick have been involved with training and handling fire investigation dogs for many years and they have been very generous in sharing their their depth and wealth of technical knowledge with VCS which has been invaluable to both me and Marcus in the training of Millie, Mansell, Lucy and Geoffrey.

(All pictures from week 8 of training are re-produced by kind permission of Dave Peplow – is there no end to that man’s talents!).


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