Sasha The Firefighter Dog Of The Avellino Fire Department Is Retiring

sasha the firefighter dog of the avellino family

 Labrador Sasha, the first firefighter dog of the Avellino Fire Brigade, has officially retired: she now awaits her rest, always together with her handler.

Sasha, the first firefighter dog of the Avellino Fire Brigade, has officially retired. On February 14, 2022, after nearly 11 years in service, the black Labrador greeted her colleagues in the department at an official ceremony.

“Sasha is a colleague in all respects and she had the utmost respect of all the other firefighters,” Guglielmo Landi, expert firefighter foreman and Sasha’s handler, tells Kodami. “He is a special dog: it is with her and thanks to her that the first canine unit of the Avellino fire brigade was born”.

It was 2009 when Guglielmo decided to become a dog lover: «The idea was born inside me while I was in L’Aquila immediately after the earthquake. On that occasion I saw for the first time the symbiosis between dogs and handlers. They were firefighters like me and my colleagues, but their way of working was very different from ours. And, above all, they found many people buried under the rubble ».

From that moment Guglielmo, in agreement with his department, set in motion the operational machine to give life to the first canine unit of the Avellino firefighters, until the arrival of Sasha in his home and among the ranks of the Avellino firefighters: “A unlike what happens with the Carabinieri, our dogs are not supplied by the Ministry of the Interior, it was I who went to a kennel and chose her from many other Labradors “, remembers Guglielmo.

After having welcomed her at home when she was only three months old, the training period for Sasha and Gugliemo began, lasting one year and with a final exam in the national reference center in Turin. “It was Sasha who taught me how to be a dog lover. I grew up with her both during training and in the field. She is stubborn, but extremely professional: when she wears her harness she is purposeful and focused, while at home she is tender and very sweet. I was very lucky ».

Labradors like Sasha are used not only for searching for missing persons on land, but also at sea: this is the case of Flash, the queen of rescues at sea who has made about 20 rescue operations together with her human Biagio D’Aniello. as we told in an episode of our Dream Team format, in which you can meet the stories of “teams” made up of a human and a pet, as in the case of the rescue dog units, the Assisted Interventions with Animals (Pet Therapy ) or in other situations in which it is only collaboration, and therefore indulging the motivations of another species, to ensure that the “work as a couple” works. Where there is relationship there is respect, after all, and where this is cultivated there is Kodami to tell it.

Sasha has earned the esteem of her colleagues on many occasions, especially during the earthquake that destroyed central Italy in 2016. “We were the first canine unit in Campania to arrive in Amatrice, where we began research with the team of Rome – Gugliemo says – After a few hours they sent us to Accumuli, one of the most affected centers. There was a small house inhabited by an English family consisting of a mother, father and three children, the eldest was eleven years old. nothing was left of the house but rubble, but Sasha, stubborn as always, didn’t give up until she found two of the little ones, still alive under the rubble. The two children were saved thanks to her help ».

There are many people who since October 2011 have been saved by her even during the surface searches throughout Campania and also the children that she has helped to raise awareness with her participation in the projects of the firefighters in schools. An activity that unites Sasha and Zorro, who with agent Chiara Barone watches over the streets of Naples.

Now, however, the Labrador who gave birth to the first firefighters’ dog unit in Avellino can enjoy a well-deserved retirement together with her family: “Sasha is a life partner and will continue to live with me as she always has, she is part of my family. all the effects », William concludes.

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