Canine Search and Rescue Teams Prepare for Emergencies

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

Canine Urban Search and Rescue teams from across the country are in College Station to train at the TEEX Disaster City training facility.

“We come in after tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes...looking for any kind of building that collapsed where you cannot see the people that you're looking for,” said Texas Task Force 1 Canine Handler Katie Breland.

Breland says Ice, a 6 ½ year old black lab, is her canine Search and Rescue partner. She says he’s not a good house pet, but he is good at finding people thanks to years of rescue training.

“When the dog hits human scents, he'll bark as a detector as well,” said Breland. “Then we can let our search teams know there is live human scent within a building, under a structure.”

In one canine training exercise, volunteers hid in rubble so rescue teams could practice searching.

Anyone older than 16 years old can volunteer to help Texas Task Force 1 with canine search team training at Disaster City.

“It's a challenge every day to go out and figure out what they're thinking because they can't talk to you, so you have to go off of their behavior,” said Breland.

Breland says dogs are an open book, you just have to know how to read them.

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