COVID-19 disrupted much of our way of life this year, but our nation’s emergency response network has not slowed. Despite COVID-related shutdowns through the spring and summer, SDF has pledged to continue supporting deployment readiness for canine disaster search teams throughout the country so our nation’s teams are ready for the inevitable.
One way SDF is accomplishing this is by continuing to ensure that our teams are ready for certification, as well as sponsoring state certification tests during the fall and winter of 2020 to ensure task forces in the United States are prepared for deployment.
The weekend of October 10, SDF sponsored a State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance (SUSAR) canine evaluation in Chicago, IL, where seven canine disaster search teams certified.
Then, on October 16, six SDF-trained search teams achieved Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) certification during a regional test in Los Angeles, CA:
Travis Calka & Hopper (California Task Force 2, Los Angeles County)
Bob George & Shadow (California Task Force 2, Los Angeles County)
Eric Gray & Waffles (California Task Force 2, Los Angeles County)
Tyler Green & Mila (California Task Force 5, Orange County)
Sean Quigley & Geno (California Task Force 2, Los Angeles County)
Wade Haller & Dallas (California Task Force 5, Orange County)
November 1, SDF Search Team Kristi Bartlett & Ivan successfully completed their FEMA certification in Fairfax County, VA:
Kristi Bartlett & Ivan (Virginia Task Force 1)
And on November 7, SDF Search Teams achieved FEMA certification in Texas:
Derek Chaky & Scout (Texas Task Force 1)
Patti Krafft & Billy (Texas Task Force 1)
These teams are all now able to deploy with their respective task forces anywhere in the country, when called upon in the wake of disasters. SDF looks forward to sponsoring another state test in Memphis, TN, in December as we know that disasters will not take a break, and neither will we.