OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – We know how police K9s help law enforcement officers face dangerous situations, but you might not know that the Oklahoma City Fire Department has a team of their own dogs for emergency rescue situations.
These dogs are extremely important team members of Task Force 1.
“When it comes to search and rescue, time is of the essence. We are looking for people who are trapped, but we have to get to them as quickly as we can. These canines give us the best opportunity to do that,” said Major Andrew McCann, with Oklahoma City Fire Department’s Task Force 1.
Major McCann says dogs like Zero and Laya have an incredible sense of smell.
“This is a large pile. If we did this by hand, this would take us all day. What you’re going to see here today, these dogs are going to do this in about 30 to 45 seconds,” he said.
In a pile of concrete mixed with twisted metal, the dogs will find a firefighter hidden in the debris.
“All we’re doing here is hide and seek. The dog has no idea if this is real life. The dog doesn’t know the difference between training or a real-time situation,” he said.
These dogs are life savers, and KFOR and Quail Creek Bank recognized the fire department for their outstanding efforts.
“I had no idea the fire department had rescue dogs. So, of course, with what they do every day and rescuing, it’s exciting and a privilege to recognize this unit that has the canines who are doing the really hard work of finding people in rubble and everything else,” said Erin Batey, Chief Communications and Innovation Officer with Quail Creek Bank.
Major McCann says the dogs surprise them all of the time.
“Just when we think we’ve set up the impossible training scenario that none of them will be able to accomplish, they do it in a matter of seconds,” he said.
If you would like to recognize a first responder, click here.
Proud to Serve is sponsored by Quail Creek Bank.