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Posted: 30th November 2023

Fire investigation dog receives PDSA medal
Reqs' Order of Merit medal commends his hard work, and his enthusiasm for the job.
Reqs has been awarded the Order of Merit for his service.

A fire investigation dog has been awarded the PDSA Order of Merit after 11 years providing support at fire scenes.

Reqs, a twelve-year-old black Labrador, joined the British Fire Service when he was a puppy and has since attended over 500 fires.

He is now believed to be one of the longest serving fire investigation dogs in the British Fire Service.

He was selected from his litter in 2012, as he demonstrated the correct attributes and high drive needed to become a fire investigation dog. Reqs then completed a year of specialist training at Specialist Canine Service International in Lancashire, before joining Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service once he was fully trained.

In his role, Reqs has provided vital support in identifying flammable liquids, known as accelerants, on the scene of fires across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

This helps the scenes of crime officers to collect samples for analysis, which provide evidence in courtroom proceedings to legally identify the cause and origin of a fire beyond reasonable doubt.

Once a site has been deemed safe, Reqs will attend in his harness and boots, detecting for ignitable liquids far quicker than most equipment would.

Reqs’ detecting skills have been paramount in helping solve serious crimes such as fires, murders and attempted murders. In total, Reqs’ evidence has resulted in over 250 hours of prison time for the guilty parties.

He has also provided much needed support for the wellbeing of the firefighters who attend the scenes.

Outside of his fire investigation duties Reqs has also acted in community service, working as an ambassador for fire safety by educating people about the dangers of starting fires.

Reqs’ Order of Merit medal not only commends his hard work in fire investigation, but also the energy and enthusiasm he brings to every job.

Nikki Harvey, a fire investigator for Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I’m so proud that Reqs has been awarded the PDSA Order of Merit.

“Working with him as closely as I do, I see day in and day out the work he does and how advantageous and beneficial it is to the criminal investigations. It’s just a true recognition of all his hard work and his long, distinguished career.”

Image © PDSA

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