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Nov 25, 2013 10:26 PM by Stefanie Boe

Specially trained fire department K9 passes away

TUCSON - Northwest Fire has announced the death of long-time K-9 accelerant detection canine, Jester.

Jester was 12-years-old and passed away November 21st, with his handler at his side. The black lab enjoyed a 7-year career in the fire service.

According to a release from Northwest Fire, Jester joined the fire district in December of 2003 and served the citizens of the District as well as local, state and federal agencies in arson investigations until his retirement in June of 2010. After his retirement, Jester became the family pet of his handler, Deputy Fire Marshal Dennis Stiegleiter.

During his career with the Northwest Fire District, Jester participated in three national call-outs for the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), assisted 26 different fire jurisdictions in the state, and responded to more than 200 fire calls. Jester's badge number was 500 which means he was the 500th dog trained at the ATF in Front Royal, Virginia. That number of highly-trained ATF canines also includes dogs with bomb and drug detection skills and other specialized training.

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