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    CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) - The lanky, spotted dogs long associated
    with firefighters are no longer needed to hunt firehouse rats or
    run alongside horse-drawn fire wagons.
    Increasingly rare Dalmatians at fire stations have a new job:
    public relations.
    Sparky and Quint, both 6-year-old Dalmatians, call suburban
    Cleveland fire stations home - and they stay there instead of
    riding on the trucks when their many masters leave on calls.
    Many fire departments have rules against pets, as keeping dogs
    in firehouses can be problematic, especially if a firefighter is
    Today's firefighters are responsible for emergency medical
    services, arson investigations and public education, leaving little
    time to feed and care for animals. Some departments worry about
    lawsuits if a dog were to bite someone.
    Fire officials in Columbus, Toledo and Dayton said their fire
    stations lack dogs.
    Eastlake and Sheffield Lake firefighters say their dogs'
    easygoing disposition - unusual for the notoriously high-strung
    breed - made the decision to keep them easier.
    Sparky makes roll call every morning and then makes rounds to
    get daily treats from the fire chief, secretary and fire prevention
    officer. Quint, whose hangout at the Sheffield Lake station is an
    old recliner, has to stick with dog food because of health
    Both stations have installed electronic fences, which causes the
    dogs' collars to shock them if they try to leave, to protect them
    from traffic.
    Mayor Dan DiLiberto picked out Sparky from a litter of seven in
    1997 and presented him to the station. The dog sleeps in a large
    cage, and knows to go there when firefighters tell him to go
    "home," keeping him safe when fire equipment rolls out.
    Sparky has his own business card and fire plug - spotted, of
    The dogs have mostly ceremonial duties such as riding in parades
    and greeting station visitors.
    Sparky can stop, drop and roll on command.
    "Kids today like interactive learning," Eastlake Fire Chief
    Richard Sabo said. "They relate better and learn more by
    remembering Sparky doing that than reading about it in a

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  • #2
    Fire Station Dogs

    This appears to me as those Fire Departments trying to preserve some of the Fire History in their respective Departments.

    There are many firefighters today, career and volunteer, who have never engaged in the history of the Fire Service. The Dalmatians were part of the Fire Service years ago to protect the horses in the old steam engine days. Now that the Steamers are gone, the dogs provide companionship for the firefighters and if trained to do so, are a training tool for young children, as was stated in your article.

    I realize that in this day and age, many Departments cannot keep pets at the station, but you do find many who take in stray cats, dogs, etc., and the crews pitch in to provide food and a home for these animals.
    "The uniform is supposed to say something about you. You get it for nothing, but it comes with a history, so do the right thing when you're in it."
    Battalion Chief Ed Schoales
    from 'Report from Ground Zero' pg 149
    I.A.C.O.J. Member


    • #3
      We have a pet cat, Smokey. He has been know to go on fire calls with us accidently.
      AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

      IAFF Local 3900

      IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

      ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats



      • #4
        I'm not sure of any 'official' policy, but for many years Houston (TX) Fire Department Fire Station 70 had a dalmation. I believe it was 1999 that Beamer died and is now buried in front of the station.

        Paintings and photographs of Beamer can be found all over 70's.
        Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

        "It's okay to to scared, just don't be chicken." - Clark


        • #5
          Gooooooodddd Boy!!

          The award for best Dalmatian goes to Topeka, KS Truck Co. 5.

          I can't remember their dogs name, but he has a mind of his own. The dog has been known to hold a grudge and even close the doors and lock them all when left behind from going on a call. There was an article on him before...I believe it was in Reader's Digest...Anyways, I'd love to hear more stories about him if any of you mid-westerners happen to have any!!!

          C'mon...Anyone? Bueller? Anyone???

          All things I say...while not always making sense are ALWAYS my opinion and only mine. They do not reflect the opinions of any department of which I am a member.


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