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New Oklahoma City Fire Department rescue dogs train for lifesaving role

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The Urban Search and Rescue Team brings out their dogs to an area every Wednesday for training, so they can be ready in times of need.

They tell us this time of year is especially important to them.

When it comes to storm season, nature's fury keeps first responders busy.

That includes the rescue K-9s.

"Our canines are some of the most deployed canines in the United States,” said Captain Andrew McCann, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

The Oklahoma City Fire Department rescue dogs were instrumental in finding trapped people during all of the deadly tornadoes in the region, including Moore.

That's why this training exercise is so important.

"The purpose of this exercise is for the canines to become familiar with the rubble, somebody being buried where they're not able to see that particular person,” said Capt. McCann.

These particular dogs are new to the department, donated from a nonprofit in California and Barry and Becky Switzer's Ground Zero K9 Emergency Training Center.

Laia came to the team last October.

"Very nice. Good girl,” Capt. McCann said.

"We want that dog that nobody wants. The dog that digs a hole in the yard. The dog that jumps over the fence. The dog that wants to play ball until their arms falls off," he said.

Which make these high energy pups perfect for the job.

"They don't know they're looking for a person. Through their training, they've learned to associate the toy, the reward they get, with a human scent."

Realistic scenarios for the lifesaving first responders.