Search and Rescue Canines
Mon July 1, 2013
The Rescued Becomes The Rescuer
The Norman Transcript's Tammy Boyd reports that its not every day that you can go from being rescued to being the rescuer but several dogs on Oklahoma Task Force One's search and rescue units get that chance every time they receive a call for help.
Nine Oklahoma K-9 teams consist of a task force member, usually a firefighter and a trained search and rescue canine from the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. After the May 20th tornado that tore thru Moore, 28 K-9 teams from six states responded, including eight from Oklahoma City and Tulsa, to begin the search for survivors, including lost children at Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary Schools. Handler Dane Yaw and his dog Salsa made it to Moore in twenty minutes after the tornado, they and one other K-9 unit were sent to Briarwood Elementary because 3 students were unaccounted for, one of which was Yaw's niece. Fortunately, she was found. Yaw and Salsa quickly moved to surrounding neighborhoods. Salsa is one of many success stories, she was rescued from a shelter by the Guide Dogs of America, who in turn gave her to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. She and Yaw can be ready at a moment's notice. The extensive training for a rescue dog is not cheap, costing between $10,000 and $15,000 dollars to train a single search and rescue dog.