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Spot the new recruits! Dalmation joins nine new fire fighters at Biggin Hill

PUBLISHED: 14:39 23 March 2017

Andy Mellers, senior airport fire officer, kneeling with new mascot Albert, and the nine new recruits, Charlie Baker, Jason Bunce, Chris Greenwood, Matthew Hall, Billy Lavendar, Harry Irwin, John Searle, Gary Stewart, and Joanna Waite.

Andy Mellers, senior airport fire officer, kneeling with new mascot Albert, and the nine new recruits, Charlie Baker, Jason Bunce, Chris Greenwood, Matthew Hall, Billy Lavendar, Harry Irwin, John Searle, Gary Stewart, and Joanna Waite.

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Albert lives close to the fire station at Biggin Hill Airport

The new mascot at Biggin Hill Airport’s fire station has been revealed.

Eleven-year-old Dalmation Albert lives close by to the airport, and joined at the same time as nine new recruits last month.

Albert, who is owned by the Holmes family, was welcomed to his occasional home by the recruits as they prepared for a five-week course at the International Fire Training College at Teesside Airport, County Durham.

Annie Holmes, 18, regularly exercises the spotted pooch and works at Air Traffic Services at the airport.

She said: ““Dalmatians as fire station mascots has been a long-standing tradition in America. When Andy Mellers, our senior airport fire officer, suggested that Albert might take on this role and start a British equivalent, we were delighted”

“It was clear from the outset that Albert felt happy and comfortable in the surroundings of the airport fire station where he is well looked after. Like all the fire crew, he knows where the biscuits are kept and is even partial to a bowl of hot tea”

The increase in staff at the airport’s Firefighting and Rescue Centre reflects company-wide preparations for the extension of operating hours that will be introduced in the spring this year. At that time, the fire service will upgrade to a three-watch system for the future. Fire crew also provide aircraft marshalling and security services.

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