At the time when government is cracking down on our Fire Brigades to proactively work on diversity and equality in the Service, it is happily recruiting outside its normal demographic. Outside our species, in fact. The Urban Search and Rescue canine squad is receiving a £430,000 investment to expand its elite sniffing skills to London's fire service and another 16 services nationwide.
The dogs - usually springer spaniels or collies - receive 18 months training before qualifying for their protective boots and jackets and play a crucial role in finding people alive in collapsed buildings.
We're sure these doggy recuits will do a sterling job or keeping our Fire Service performing strongly and, hopefully, supply more fire fighter/dog related stories for us to cherish.
Image courtesy of the UK Fire Service USAR Dog Teams website.