Bomb-sniffing dog joins Tahoe Douglas Fire in reponse to increase in sweep requests
A bomb-sniffing chocolate lab named Gunner is the newest member of the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District’s bomb squad team.
Three-year-old Gunner will be the seventh canine resource in the Northern Nevada Bomb Technicians Task Force once he completes his training, which should be in the next few months. The other dogs come from the University of Reno, Nevada Police Department; Washoe County Sheriff’s Department; Reno Police Department and Reno Airport TSA.
“With the threat of terrorist attacks a growing concern in our world, like many places, we are seeing a dramatic increase in [bomb] sweep requests,” said Tahoe Douglas Fire’s battalion chief and Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team commander Todd Moss.
“Explosive Detection Canine resources are spread thin in the region during the political and special-event seasons; and having an additional resource at TDFPD will allow us the chance to give back to the task force and continue to be responsive to our community needs.”
According to the fire department, sweeps are made for political, sporting and entertainment events, especially when a large number of people are in attendance or a high profile individual is coming.
“For example, in July, sweeps were conducted daily for American Century Celebrity Golf [Tournament], which drew an attendance over 75,000. This provided an excellent training opportunity for Gunner,” said Moss in reference to the annual tournament hosted at Edgewood Tahoe, which brought in the likes of Justin Timberlake and Stephen Curry this year.
Jim McNeil, a bomb-sniffing dog handler, master dog trainer and Washoe County Sergeant, is currently assisting with the training process.
“McNeil is very impressed with the dog and his training so far and believes Gunner should be a certified Explosive Detection Canine in the fall,” Moss added.
This means Gunner will be able to identify both commercial and homemade explosives. He will not only assist with local sweeps, but assist in operations in Reno and Washoe County as well.
Gunner is a rescue dog from a local family. When he’s not on duty, you can find him enjoying his time off at home with Moss.
Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad is one of four FBI-accredited bomb squads in Nevada. It is a joint effort between the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
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