VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Beach Fire Department has added a new member with a unique skill to its force.
Fire investigators welcomed Sadie, a new canine partner, on April 28. Sadie is able to detect the presence of accelerants, after completing a 12-week U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) course in Front Royal, Va.
Pepe, the department’s former accelerant detecting canine retired last year for medical reasons.
ATF developed the canine pilot project in 1984 and discovered immediate advantages over field instruments. Most notably, the canines can find threats carefully hidden from human detection.