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Albert Joins the Airport Fire Service as Mascot

Albert, an 11-year old Dalmatian whose owners lives close to the fire station at London Biggin Hill Airport, has been adopted as the fire service mascot for show on special occasions and for the enjoyment of fire crews during quieter moments.   

The dog was appointed with mascot status synonymously with the arrival of nine new recruits to the fire service.  Charlie Baker, Jason Bunce, Chris Greenwood, Matthew Hall, Billy Lavendar, Harry Irwin, John Searle, Gary Stewart, and Joanna Waite (see image) were on hand to welcome Albert to his occasional home as they prepared to embark on a comprehensive training regime before joining the 5-week course at the International Fire Training College at Teesside Airport, Co Durham.

Andy Mellers, Senior Airport Fire Officer (centre, kneeling) and the nine new recruits to the airport Firefighting & Rescue Service welcome Albert as the newly appointed Dalmatian mascot.

 

Albert’s owners are the Holmes family and the dog is regularly exercised by 18-year old Annie Holmes who works in Air Traffic Services at the airport.

“Dalmatians as fire station mascots has been a long-standing tradition in America.  When Andy Mellers, our Senior Airport Fire Officer, suggested that Albert might take on this role and start a British equivalent, we were delighted” says Annie.

“It was clear from the outset that Albert felt happy and comfortable in the surroundings of the airport fire station where he is well looked after.  Like all the fire crew, he knows where the biscuits are kept and is even partial to a bowl of hot tea” says Annie  The increase in staff at the airport’s Firefighting and Rescue Centre reflects company-wide preparations for the extension of operating hours that will be introduced in the spring this year.  At that time, the fire service will upgrade to a 3-watch system for the future.  Fire crew also provide aircraft marshalling and security services.