Edmonton Fire Rescue Services welcomed a four-footed recruit, along with 16 other two-legged types, Tuesday at a graduation ceremony at City Hall.
Hundreds of friends, family members and firefighters watched as the new recruits, including one dog, were presented, with special badges, caps and in Grover’s case, a collar.
Grover, a one-year-old Bloodhound, Black Lab and Jack Russell Terrier cross, will join the EFRS K-9 unit, to help detect accelerants at fire scenes.
The unit participates in 30 to 50 investigations every year.
The new K9 recruit was rescued after his first owner abandoned him. He was trained at the New York State Fire Academy where he learned agility, canine etiquette and how to detect ignitable liquids and vapours while working alongside his handler, Capt. Murray Steedman.
“The [Academy] only uses rescue dogs in its K9 program,” said Steedman in a message released Tuesday. “They give these dogs a second chance at life, an important job to do, and a family to live with.”
“Grover is a really good dog and a great partner. He comes to work with me, goes out on calls with me, and comes home with me at the end of every day,” he added.
Fire chief Ken Block said the team is happy to welcome Grover to the force, where he will join Sprocket – a veteran in the K9 unit.
The new human recruits, plus Grover, will now be assigned to one of the city’s 27 fire stations.