State Fire Marshal's Office Gets New Four-Legged Officer

- WASHINGTON CO., Md. - The State Fire Marshal's Office has a new member on their team. He's four year's old, with four legs, and his name is Blitz.

Blitz is quickly adjusting to his new assignment, making himself right at home in the office of the State Fire Marshal. That also includes learning to live with another dog, and a new family.

Ed Ernst has a new best friend, and partner in fire-fighting crime. Ed, the Deputy State Fire Marshal, met Blitz, a Sable German Shepherd, just two months ago.

And Blitz has quickly become Ed's shadow.

"Blitz, he stays by my side no matter what or where I am, he always wants to see me. He likes to play, he likes to play ball. And i take him pretty much everywhere I go," said Ed Ernst, Deputy State Fire Marshal, and Blitz's new handler.

The two have gone through weeks of training, and Blitz is now the newest member of the State Fire Marshal's Office.

His job: explosive detection. He searches buildings, suitcases, open areas, and does vehicle scans using his nose.

"It makes the bomb squad more effective. Now we have the capabilities in this region with the bomb techs and now and explosive canine, we can handle a wider range of calls," Ernst said.

Blitz is the first explosive canine to be assigned to the Western Region of Maryland through the Fire Marshal's Office.

Ed says Blitz will be a huge asset to the bomb squad, and they're both ready to go now.

"He's really as you can see, he's becoming a lot more friendly towards people, and he'll let you come up and let you pet him. But he's always when he's out, he's always seems to be scanning, always trying to work," Ed said.

But like any good dog, always trying to play, too. He's a play reward dog, instead of a food reward dog, which means he gets to play ball rather than getting a treat or a meal after he works.

And that's great for such a high-energy, hard working, and fun loving dog. He's already a great member of the team, and part of Ed's family.

Blitz has been announced officially as part of the Fire Marshal's team.

Ed and Blitz graduate from training on Friday.

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