RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dogs can do a lot of things and two year old Erny is no different. The newest member of Richmond’s Fire Investigation Unit is ready to make his presence known by helping arson investigations.
“Erny and I have been back in the city for two weeks now from training in New Hampshire,” said Fire Investigator Brian Acors, Erny’s handler. “We’re just trying to figure our way.”
They’re both figuring things out together after training together for four weeks.
Erny becomes the fourth canine to join the Richmond Fire Department and is trained to detect the scent of chemical compounds found in ignitable liquids.
“The fire investigators can only go in but so deep,” explained Acors. “Erny is able to come in and pinpoint better locations for us to take samples. He saves a ton of time and it reduces the hours we’re on scene and exposed to things.”
Erny is not only a new member of the department but he also has a new home, living with his handler.
“I have a 2-year-old lab at home that’s waited her whole life to have another dog to play with,” said Acors. “(Erny) interacts with my family just like a normal pet would. The only difference is he comes to work with me every day.”