Santa Barbara County Debuts Dog-Friendly Fire Equipment

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department unveiled a new vehicle with a heat detection system that will protect dogs that assist the department and who often times have to sit in hot cars as investigators make the initial assessment of a fire.

Riley, a specially trained, black labrador retriever, is brought to the scene of a fire after the ground has cooled and is able to determine if accelerants are present.

Fire Captain and Investigator Howard Orr has been Riley’s handler for the last year.

During a presentation Wednesday, Orr and county fire crews unveiled a new vehicle with a heat detection system that will essentially protect dogs like Riley, who often times have to sit in hot cars as investigators make the initial assessment of a fire.

Once the vehicle sensors hit a certain temperature, the system kicks into gear.

“The vehicle will turn itself on, turn on the air conditioning, honk the horn, which sends me to check on Riley, to make sure it’s safe,” said Orr.

For more information, view www.keyt.com

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