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Last Updated: 2009-11-07

“The first accelerant detection K-9 in the Richmond Metro area became a member of Richmond Fire 1998 was received from State Farm Fire and Casualty.”

The City of Richmond Fire is one of a few localities in the State in which State Farm Fire and Casualty has granted an accelerant detection K-9. The K-9 is require to remain in service for a minimum of 5 years which is a requirement by State Farm. The three year old female (Half Lab/Half Golden Retriever) named Pearl was placed in service September 2015. Pearl received extensive obedience and accelerant detection training prior to meeting her partner. Before dog and handler become a team, together they both go through five weeks of additional training in Alfred, Maine. The Richmond Fire Department currently has the only Arson Detection K-9 in Central Virginia. The K-9 and handler can be requested by other jurisdictions should there be a need for additional assistance. Pearl has been successful and credited with (9) arrest and (1) arrest involving a (murder). Both handler and K-9 have become an effective tool for the Richmond Fire Investigators. Pearl works as an excellent public relations tool during community events.

"Fast Facts – Accelerant Detection Canines (K-9)"

These K-9’s have a smell that is 100,000 times more acute than humans Are taught to work the crowd at fire scenes while mingling with spectators, if the potential arsonist is among the crowd, the ADC will alert to the smell of accelerants on clothing, shoes or body. These canines are unbiased, the handler is alerted to the present of such materials These canines can do in minutes, what it generally takes humans all day or even days to do The Canines are accurate and humans make their best educated guess concerning accelerates and (humans) will sometimes have to take a number of samples, that are sent off to the lab for testing. The dogs nose narrows the guess work, limits the number, samples quality lab samples and even a higher convection rate. Works and lives with the handler who is trained in fire investigations The handler and their dog plays a large part in the community teaching fire safety and education in how to help prevent such occurrences. The ADC is used as a reinforcement tool on the dangers of fire ***** Cancer being a primary concern for firefighter’s health, we should also be looking at the affects that these carcinogens’ have canines and their quality of life. There is little if any protection for them.

Contact Information:

Fire Department
City of Richmond
201 E. Franklin St.
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Phone: (804)646-2500

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