You may have seen London Fire Brigade sharing pictures of the dogs that are helping them out at Grenfell Tower. You may have also wondered why they’re there. Well, there’s several reasons as to why dogs are good helpers for the search process.
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) June 15, 2017
Their sense of smell is initially the most important feature of a specialist search dog. According to Metro, the dogs can even help to figure out whether or not a fire has been started deliberately. In their trained, they’re taught how to identify a whole range of ignitable substances.
Dogs can also access parts of the tower that firefighters cannot. London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “This is a large building, there will be a large amount of building work required internally.
“Before we do that, we are going to utilise some specialist dog training teams that we have, that will go through the building and the surrounding area looking for any identification of people.
“It is the upper floors which will be more challenging and will need some additional shoring up for us to be able to get in there.
“This will be a detailed fingertip search. Obviously this will be a very slow and painstaking process.”
There has been no report of any fire dogs ever being injured in the line of duty.
Credit: London Fire Service
As you can see from the above photo, the dogs are provided with specialist equipment – including shoes to protect their feet.
Apparently, the search dogs are chosen at a young age, and they live with their handlers when they’re not out helping their respective fire services.
Yesterday, a London Fire Service spokesperson said: “Twenty firefighters and four fire engines, plus other specialist resources, have remained at the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington throughout the night.
“Crews have remained at the scene to monitor the stability of the building’s structure, managing the inner cordon and damping down any remaining pockets of fire.
“Throughout Friday, six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers were at the scene working with the Metropolitan Police and other agencies.
“In addition, three Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) modules and 30 specialist USAR firefighters are working to make the block safe so our firefighters can continue to progress throughout the building, making a detailed search.”
It’s expected that the search will take weeks, but sadly, they are not looking for any survivors.