In the early evening hours of January 30, 2017, SDF Search Teams Eric Ingstad & Java and Cynthia Sato & Roxy were called on to respond to a landslide in Hollywood Hills with Los Angeles Fire Department.
According to news reports, one of the original 911 calls was made by a resident of one of two homes below the landslide and he or she was trapped inside the home. Firefighters were able to evacuate residents in that home as well as in the surrounding area but requested the Search Dogs clear the area to be sure no one was left behind in the homes or under the debris.
Cynthia shared what it was like to receive the call and to respond with her partner Roxy:
"As soon as Roxy and I heard we were being asked to work at the debris flow, we immediately packed up and got going. We got on scene and saw a relatively small area, full of dirt, broken water pipes, fallen power lines, and homes buried. We went from a normal day at the station, to searching a pile of debris for possibly trapped victims in a matter of minutes. There was no delay in Roxy's ability to flip her search switch on, and she went to work! She excitedly searched the pile and followed every instruction and every direction I sent her in. Even with the debris continuing to slough off, she kept her cool and finished the job. I can't say how long it would take to uncover everything and search for possible victims, but Roxy and Java did an amazing job in assuring everyone on scene that there are no victims trapped. I'm so proud of our amazing partners! Training is often difficult, but it all pays off when it really counts!"
Photos courtesy of Los Angeles Fire Department.