The Virginia Beach Fire Department has been fortunate to renew its partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) in the Accelerant Canine Program. Last year, the department’s former canine partner, Pepe, retired from the Fire Department for medical reasons after 2½ years of service. On April 28, fire investigators welcomed to the team a new canine partner, Sadie.
Fire Investigator Cooper and Sadie recently completed a 12-week ATF accelerant canine course in Front Royal, Va. The course teaches canines to detect the presence of ignitable liquids and petroleum distillates.
In 1984, ATF developed the accelerant detection canine pilot project, which resulted in the creation of an accelerant detection system that offered an immediate advantage over field instruments. A major advantage in using the canine is their mobility, a significant improvement over fixed detector installations that can be circumvented by a terrorist placing a bomb or smuggling explosives.
Please assist us in welcoming Sadie to the Virginia Beach Fire Department. She will be scheduled for demonstrations in the near future but will make her first appearance on May 16th at the Fire Station 7 dedication.
For more information, contact Battalion Chief Amy Valdez at (757) 385-1075 or
# # #