Meet the hero dog helping firefighters to put out blazes and chase arsonists in her own heat-resistant boots
Giddy will help catch the criminals who deliberately start fires
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Meet Giddy, a very special dog who is using her nose and some unique heat resistant boots to aid firefighters in putting out fires. The cocker spaniel has joined the professional team at West Midlands Fire Service to sniff out dangerous flammables and accelerants.
The 11-month-old pooch is the next generation of dog investigators at the Fire Investigation and Prevention Section, and the hope is that she will also catch arsonists by picking up the trail of firestarters near blazes. Giddy has been trained to search for signs of accelerants in burnt-out buildings, and to help protect her paws when treading on hot ashes she’s been fitted with a special canine protective kit and heat-resistant boots.
Giddy spent six weeks training with her handler Watch Commander Alex Daw before beginning her role, and she now lives with him full-time too. Alex said: "Giddy will identify evidence at fire scenes. She will help to bring to justice criminals who deliberately start fires. She has an amazing temperament, so relaxed and docile. She started out as a working dog, so a priority will be teaching her how to be a pet when she’s off duty.”
Regional Fire Investigation Dog Handler, Dave Coss, of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, oversaw the Giddy's and her handlers training, and said they are still learning together. “It was a learning curve from start to finish for both Giddy and Alex. They’ve done a lot of work to get to this point. Now, a bit like after passing your driving test, they’ll continue to learn whilst they’re out in the field.”
Giddy is the latest generation of fire investigator dogs at West Midlands Fire Service after her predecessor Kai died last month. Station Commander Matt Ling, who is the head of the Fire Investigation and Prevention Section, paid tribute to Kai but welcomed Giddy. He said: “Kai served our communities amazingly and is very much missed, but Giddy is already showing that she’ll be a valuable member of the team. Working alongside our expert human fire investigators, she will help to make sense of what can often be very challenging and complex scenes.”