Emergency service dogs train collaboratively

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) Hicks Gate fire station hosted canine colleagues from Avon & Somerset Police for Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) training

Using the training tower at the fire station, dog handlers were able to practice working at a height whilst familiarising their dogs with the practice. The exercise was designed to help the service dogs with ascending and descending, particularly useful when the emergency services are called to a rescue at a height or in collapsed buildings. 

Four Police colleagues and their service dogs, all Spaniel cross-breeds, joined AF&RS Fire Dog Buddy at the training session..The dogs are trained in forensic search techniques, victim recovery and various specialist skills including explosives detection. Dogs were harnessed to their handlers, and each pair abseiled down the side of the training tower. 

The team also practiced ascension with the dogs, to get them used to the sensation of being suspended in a harness. The dogs were remarkably calm, given that this was their first attempt at such training, and exercise director PC Clive Bush was pleased with this “good example of collaborative training.”

Fire Dog Buddy and his handler Firefighter (FF) Martin Tully took part in the exercise, completing the activities with great form. 

FF Tully said: “Since rescuing Buddy, he has gone from strength to strength and is a much-loved member of the team at Hicks Gate. 

“I’m really pleased with how he’s done today. He’s really a part of the family here and at home.”

Tail always wagging, Buddy ascended and descended the training tower with ease, before parading his ball around with joy when he’d finished the task.

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