WHEELING, W. Va. (WTRF) – The Wheeling Fire Department has introduced a new member to their team who specializes in investigating fires and walks on four legs. 

3-year-old Indy will be the department’s first acceleration detection canine, and the first canine to be a departmental employee. 

She spent the last several weeks training with her handler, Fire Investigator Lt. Clint Landis at the Stateline Canine Training Center, where she learned scenario-based situations inside buildings, vehicles and outside areas. 

Lt. Landis had the idea to bring an investigative canine since 2007 and says this is a huge asset to the department, but also an exciting accomplishment for him and Indy, as well. 

”The average human has 5 million or so scent receptors in their nose. She has over 300 million. Just the smallest amount after the fuel has already been burned away, just the residue that’s left she can detect, where you would never be able to smell that. You or I would never be able to smell that.”

Lt. Clint Landis – Indy’s Handler and Fire Investigator

”I’ve watched her do some drills with Lt. Landis and it’s impressive. We’ve taken her through our burn building which has had fires in it numerous times and has a lot of stuff in there that’s typical that you would find in any kind if structure fire and she’s able to nail it every time.”

Chief Jim Blazier – Wheeling Fire Department

Indy is only one of two acceleration detection canines in the state, and although she is important to the Wheeling Fire Department, Indy and her skills will be made available to many other departments in the area.