Hero Pets: Simba The Firefighting Dog

Hero pet Simba and trainer Anton in firefighting equipment

We all love stories of hero pets! So, to mark Firefighters’ Memorial Day, we’ve sniffed out this story of Simba, the dog who works for London Fire Brigade.

Simba the English springer spaniel has been a fire investigation dog for the past four years.

Assisting LFB’s Fire Investigation Team, his job is to detect substances that may have been used to start a fire. And he helps investigators determine whether it was started deliberately.

Anton is a dog handler and Fire Investigator at LFB and works closely with Simba on each case.

“Simba and I are a team, and train and work together,” Anton explains.

“Using Simba to search for us is a win-win situation because he loves to search and he loves to play ball. The only time he looks a little disappointed is when the work stops.”

Simba was previously owned by a gamekeeper who decided he was “too energetic for a gun dog”. But Anton says his energy is perfect for his job at LFB.

Hero pet

Hero pet Simba english springer spaniel in firefighting PPE

Courtesy of London Fire Brigade.

Simba also assists in identifying suspects of arson and other crimes involving ignitable substances. Whatever the job, Simba’s welfare is Anton’s top priority.

“We’ll only attend an incident if Simba is fit and ready and it doesn’t put him at risk.”

“Simba has his own personal protective equipment, or fire gear, to keep him safe. This includes specialist boots that he wears to protect him against sharp objects and contaminants. Our fire dogs are never sent into hot scenes.”

Although he is a working dog, Simba is also very much a part of Anton’s family. Also, Simba was recently a finalist for the Hero Dog Award at The Kennel Club.

Support fire fighters and their families by checking out the Fire Fighters Charity. For Firefighters’ Memorial Day, see if your local fire station are holding an event to mark the moment.


Jacqueline Munro

Jacqueline is the Digital Content Editor at "The People's Friend", looking after our website, social media channels and podcast.