animal hero awards logo

 

WINNERS 2017

London Fire Dogs

The remarkable courage, dedication and selflessness of our emergency services as they battled the Grenfell Tower fire inspired the nation.

fire dogs

And working alongside the firefighters, police officers and paramedics were teams of dogs who exemplified the heroism of Britain’s public service animals.

The Metropolitan Police Service victim recovery dogs had the harrowing task of searching for bodies amid the wreckage of the upper floors of the tower, in areas that filled with debris and difficult for humans to enter.

And the dogs from London Fire Brigade helped assist the fire investigators pinpoint where the fire started within the tower block.

Fitted with special shoes to protect their paws from sharp items and debris, the dedicated dogs spent many hours in the charred remains of the tower block helping their fire investigator handlers.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “Our dogs are an incredibly valuable asset to the Brigade. Using their keen sense of smell, which is more accurate than a machine has helped the Brigade Fire Investigation Team find the cause of thousand of fires, including the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.”

Sherlock, Murphy and Roscoe from London Fire Brigade’s fire investigation team, attend an average of between 180 and 230 incidents a year.

They are highly trained animals who can identify ten ignitable substances, whether they are burnt, evaporated or neat, to determine whether an accelerant was used and whether a blaze was started deliberately.

The work of fire dogs speeds up investigations and keeps costs down as they are much more efficient at detection than a machine. They can also cover a large area quickly and get into awkward and small spaces.

There are only 14 dogs in the whole country trained to do this work.

Mick Boyle, Murphy and Roscoe’s handler, said: “The dogs are all about keeping the people of London safe and they have been an exceptional success. 

“Every time I work with them and they find something it gives me immense satisfaction and I’m always amazed.

“I never ever get tired of it when they do find something. I’ve always had pride in my two dogs.”

Mick retired from London Fire Brigade in August 2017 after more than 30 years of service. His dogs also retired on the same date, with Roscoe worked as a fire investigation dog for 12 years, while Murphy serving for more than 4 years.

More in this category: « Sam