Firefighters and dogs go way back in NYC. When fire engines were pulled by horses, dogs were part of the team hurrying behind the horses on the way there, prepared to give them a nip to keep them going as fast as they could. And once the firefighers arrived, they guarded the horses or kept them in line if they got restless.
And some of the dogs took on even more onerous roles, running into fires to investigate and in the case of large dogs dragging hoses upstairs. But their most important role was always to act as an alarm system.
Dogs would locate firefighters overcome by smoke and then bark until other firefighters came to help. Other times they smelt smoke before the less talented humans realised a fire was in progress and barked to alert firefighters to come do something. And then there was a dog who, when a home owner wouldn’t leave his cat behind, ran in, grabbed the cat and got everyone out.
These days modern equipment has made dogs redundant as an alarm system. But animals are still favorites with FDNY firefighters. See the video of a firehouse dalmation who welcomes the fire engine home as it comes back after being away for awhile.
And firefighters are proud of their pets. Instagram accounts for firehouse cats have been springing up all over showing firefighters are real softies about the animals they make their own.