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State Fire Marshal Accelerant K9 to Retire

6/4/2007

CONTACT:
Lt. Joseph Schwartz (954)321-3704; or
Nina Banister (850) 413-2842 

Replacement K9 Already at Work
 
PLANTATION – The Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office will be retiring its Southern Region Accelerant K9 “Buddy” on Tuesday, June 5, at 9:30 a.m. at the Plantation Fire Department located at 550 NW 65 Ave. in Plantation.  The retirement ceremony will take place during the Broward County Fire Inspector’s Association Meeting, and the region’s new accelerant K9 will be introduced and will demonstrate how an accelerant K9 works and how effective they can be at determining the cause of fires. 
 
Buddy has served the state as a law enforcement officer since April of 2001.  He has assisted in the investigation of many fires and his findings at fire scenes have led to numerous arrests over the past six years.  Buddy and his handler Detective Greg Gilkey have put in countless hours of training together and have participated in numerous public and fire safety expositions. 
 
In addition, the State Fire Marshal’s Office will be introducing the new Southern Region Accelerant K9 “Ember.”  Detective Gilkey and Ember have just completed training in Maine and are already working fires throughout south Florida.  The State Fire Marshal’s Office has six accelerant K9s, all Labrador Retrievers, and the dogs and training are provided by State Farm Insurance. 
 
The accelerant K9 teams are part of the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin.  To report suspected arson, call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.