Search Teams ensure no survivors left behind in Poughkeepsie building collapse

On June 18, SDF-trained Search Teams Brian Girard & Keila and Greg Gould & Dax answered the call when a storm caused a seven-story building collapsed into neighboring structures, causing a total of five buildings to come down. Rescuers immediately discovered one woman alive in the rubble but the destruction covered a large area and the Search Dogs were needed to confirm that no one else was trapped below the surface.

Keila and Dax searched the debris field, covering the surface area and any voids found between floors of the buildings. To reach some areas, the Search Dogs needed to be hoisted to higher levels of the collapse via fire truck ladders.

Luckily, these are all skills that these special dogs have been training on for many months or years, and they covered the search areas efficiently and confidently let their Handlers know that no one was left behind in the rubble.

“A seven-story commercial building had collapsed on four other buildings and the entire area was a mess of rubble. We paired with New York State Police who ran their Cadaver canines after Dax and Keila had searched an area for people who may be trapped alive. It was hot and humid and we had to stop searches several times due to the severity of the storm that had blown the building down in the first place. Everyone performed very well and I am 100% certain there was no one else in there.”

-- Greg Gould, New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services Office of Fire Prevention & Control, Handler of Search Dog Dax