N.B. fire department’s ‘celebrity’ K9 handpicked for special training

Click to play video: 'N.B. fire department’s therapy dog selected for exclusive training'
N.B. fire department’s therapy dog selected for exclusive training
A cherished member of Riverview Fire and Rescue has been handpicked for special training in Columbus , OH. Tanker the K9 is one of only 12 in North America selected for the training at the K9 Law Enforcement School. As Suzanne Lapointe reports, Tanker has made a positive impact not just for his team, but for the entire town – Feb 26, 2024

A cherished member of Riverview Fire and Rescue has been handpicked for a special honour.

Tanker the facility dog is one of only 12 in North America that have been selected for training at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Law Enforcement Therapy K9 School.

Tanker is only one year into his tenure as the official facility dog for the fire department, but he’s already had quite an effect on the team — and the greater community.

“I walk into a grocery store and people say, ‘Is that Tanker?’ He’s just like a celebrity around here. He’s pretty cool,” said his handler, Lt. Dave Murray.

Tanker’s main role is to be a comforting presence for the staff, who sometimes have to deal with traumatizing situations on the job.

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“We’re still humans and we have to deal with that as well. A lot of times when Tanker comes in, he takes that negativity and turns it into a positive experience and shows us it’s not the end of the day,” Murray said.

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Tanker is described as a vital part of the department who has played an important role in community engagement and public education. The K9 teaches people young and old about fire prevention, as well as being a friendly — and cute — ambassador for the department.

“Unfortunately, a lot of times we deal with people when they’re at their lowest. You know, their house is burnt or they’re dealing with a car accident or the loss of a loved one,” Capt. Dwight Robertson said.

That community engagement is what led to Tanker being selected for the exclusive training program in Ohio.

He’ll be receiving instruction and practice to get even better at staying cool under pressure.

“There’s going be a helicopter that comes and lands in front of us and we have to stay and not react to it, drones flying over, police cars with their sirens flying by us,” Murray said.

“All these things, so he knows there’s not stress when these things happen.”

To further cement Tanker’s celebrity status, Murray will be selling merchandise with the pup on it to fundraise the $5,000 needed in travel costs.

The duo will be headed to Ohio in June.

— with a file from Rebecca Lau 


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