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Arson dog coming to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire


Last updated 6/14/2017 at 6:06pm

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire will be welcoming a new investigator to its ranks next year. With the assistance of State Farm and Main Specialty Dogs, the Fire Bureau will soon have an arson dog, formally known as an accelerant detection dog. 

The bureau has been awarded a scholarship to participate in the spring class of the 2018 State Farm Arson Dog Program to be held April 2-27 in Concord, New Hampshire. The scholarship includes all training fees, acquisitions of the dog, lodging during training, certification, and transportation to and from the training facility. 

“This arson dog will not merely be a mascot for the bureau,” says Fire Chief Jones. “it will improve our capacity to sniff out the facts about suspicious fires. Detective Mike Burns will be the canine’s handler. 

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich says the addition of an arson dog will “expand our capacity to conduct thorough investigations while creating another avenue to raise public awareness about fire safety.”

Since 1993, State Farm has provided funding for the acquisition and training of more than 380 arson dog teams across North America. The arson dog team in Pittsburgh will join four other teams in Pennsylvania – Beaver Falls, Allentown, Upper Chichester Township, and Altoona – trained through the State Farm program.


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