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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2008, 14:25 GMT
Canine recruits for fire service
A new elite canine squad is joining England's fire crews to sniff out people trapped in collapsed buildings.

The Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) dogs will receive specialist training to develop its acute sniffing skills.

The dog squad is being funded by a 430,000 investment from the government, said the fire service.

Fire Minister Parmjit Dhanda said: "These dogs are real life savers as shown by their heroic efforts in all parts of the world."

FIRE SERVICES TO GET DOGS
Avon
Buckinghamshire
Devon & Somerset
Essex
Hampshire
Hereford and Worcestershire
Kent
Lancashire
Lincolnshire
Leicestershire
London
Merseyside
Norfolk
Tyne and Wear
West Midlands
West Sussex
West Yorkshire

He added: "Their skills are crucial to giving the fire service the best possible chance of finding people alive in collapsed buildings.

"With this investment, the new dog squads can be called to any part of the country whenever needed."

Each dog, usually a collie or springer spaniel, receives training for 18 months to two years before being kitted out with protective boots and jackets.

The investment is part of a 16.7m grant from the government department Communities and Local Government to support the specialist equipment supplied to the Fire and Rescue Service.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service will have the lead role in co coordinating training and establishing a national USAR dog duty rota.

SEE ALSO
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