Congratulations to SDF’s three veteran Canine Disaster Search Teams who achieved FEMA Certification on October 21: Brent Brainard & Decker, Linda D'Orsi & Haley, and Julie Padelford-Jansen & Ricochet!
SDF Program Manager Debra Tosch was in College Station, TX, to support SDF's Search Teams testing and shared that all three did beautifully! These three teams are veterans, having Certified at least once before with their current canine partners and each having also worked with previous Search Dogs. The time they spend training together is not just about building their skill level, it’s about the bond that comes with that partnership and how it helps them to be successful on deployment.
How does Certification work?
Upon earning initial Certification, every canine team must be evaluated every three years to ensure they are maintaining the skills necessary to accomplish the task at hand – saving human lives after disasters strike! Regular standardized testing means the teams have proven they are prepared to do the job right when the call comes. This standard applies to all teams, whether their task force falls under the guidance of the State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance (SUSAR) or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
A big thank you goes out to Texas Task Force 1 who hosted our nation’s FEMA teams at Disaster City over the weekend! A tremendous amount of effort, energy and manpower goes into the logistics, planning and coordination of these evaluations, held at various locations throughout the year.