Members of the Elkins Fire Department have been spending the last several weeks training the newest member of their department.
Eight weeks ago, the fire department took in a puppy named Ember.
"We got her from the shelter," said Elkins Fire Department Chief Tom Meader. "The duty guys and I decided we would get her and keep her in the building and on the trucks."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Anthony Gaynor
Once fully trained, Ember, a dalmation recently adopted by the Elkins Fire Department, will probably visit local schools to help raise awareness of fire safety.
Meader said Ember will primarily be a companion for the paid firefighters, who spend 24-hour shifts at the department.
"Eventually we are going to have her on the trucks, and we hope to take her to the schools," Meader said. "She provides good companionship for the duty guys. They are here for 24 hours, and it is nice to have the dog around."
Meader said the department is working to train the dog and said she is progressing very well.
"She will not leave the department even when the doors are open," he said. "Most of the time she will be on the trucks when we go out on a call."
He said Ember is very good with children, and he hopes to be able to use the dog as an educational tool when she is a little older and better trained.
"I am trying to teach her to stop, drop and roll," he said.