The Vineland Fire Department introduced the latest member of its Fire Investigation Bureau earlier this month...a dog named Radiant.

The Newest Firefighter on Vineland's Arson Squad is a Dog

Living in South Jersey, we have heard many stories about dogs who graduated from the John "Sonny" Burke Atlantic County K-9 Traning Academy.  But, this might be the first time you've heard about a graduate who became an accelerant detection dog.

The Vineland Fire Department celebrated Radiant's graduation with a Facebook post congratulating her and handler Phillip McMahon for completing 22 weeks of rigorous training learning how to recognize and alert about the smell of various accelerants used by arsonists starting fires.

The Atlantic County K-9 Academy Arson Scent Training

The Atlantic County K9 Training Academy has been offering arson detection training along with narcotics and explosive detection training for some time.

Arson dog training is a highly specialized process that starts with choosing the right dog, teaching the dog how to distinguish the smell of the scent of accelerants from other scents that may be present at a fire scene, and then training the dog's handler how to interpret the dog's behaviors.

Arson Dog Radiant Welcomed to Vineland Fire Department

At a graduation ceremony attended by Vineland City officials, Vineland Fire Department Deputy Chief Mark Cifaloglio commended all involved in Radiant's training.

“On behalf of the Fire Investigation Bureau, I would like to congratulate Investigator McMahon and Radiant on a job well done.

I would also like to thank Mayor Fanucci and the members City Council for their unwavering support, Vineland Police Department K9 Officer Dwight Adams, K9 trainer Joe Nick, investigator Rod Meyer, and the entire New Jersey Division of Fire Safety K9 unit for their hard work and assistance in making this a reality.”


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