NYS Homeland Security introduces new K9 disaster search teams

GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Fire Prevention and Control introduced its newest disaster search K9 teams.

The two dogs Keila, a black lab, and Charlie, a golden retriever, showcased their life saving training. Then followed their first round of training on Friday.

The dogs must be constantly ready to save lives in the worst disaster situations.

“The dogs are very agile, very quick. They can go up locate the victim, bark, and let us know where they are,” Dog Handler of Fire Prevention and Control Greg Gould said. “We can then focus our resources on that area and get them out a lot faster.”

The teams are constantly training for better agility and honing their sense of smell. They have to trust each other without the shadow of doubt because whenever they get a call, lives are at stake.

“It is a toy driven dog that just wants to play non-stop. We can relate to finding a victim and getting to play,” Gould said.

The team’s rescue training is simulated as close to real life as possible. A massive pile of debris used for the training.

“If everybody remembers when they were younger playing hide and seek, nobody ever wanted to be it. However, the dogs always want to be it. The reward is, I find somebody, I bark, and I get to play.”

Once a handler is paired with their dog, they remain a team and are connected for life. These dogs were given a second chance at life. You could say they were rescued to rescue.

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