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Buckinghamshire fire service dog wins hero award

Ember and Barney the fire investigation dogs
Image caption Ember, left, will replace Barney, right, in September

A dog rescued by Buckinghamshire Fire Service has won a hero award.

Barney, a black collie cross, was adopted as a puppy from the RSPCA eight years ago and has since trained and worked as a fire investigation dog.

On Thursday night he won the Hero Dog title at the Dogs Trust Honours award ceremony.

Handler Kerry Burns said: "Fame has clearly not gone to his head. By the end of the ceremony he'd fallen asleep on his bean bag."

She added: "He's a very special dog. I'm overwhelmed by the recognition and immensely proud of what he has achieved."

Wears special boots

Barney's job is to help establish whether fires have been started deliberately.

He is trained to sniff out anything arsonists may use such as petrol or lighter fluid and has attended 226 fire scenes.

When he is working he wears special boots to protect his feet and a reflective harness.

The award was given for the overall high standard of his work rather than any particular incident.

Barney will retire in September and be replaced by a four-year-old Labrador, Ember, who has worked in the team for two years.

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