PHOENIX, AZ – Over 30 search and rescue canine teams from across the country are training to assist FEMA in disaster zones.
The dogs and their handlers worked toward earning their FEMA certification in Phoenix over the weekend.
The dogs were put to the test during a mock disaster zone, tasked with searching for four to six victims in two large piles of rubble without distractions or missing anyone.
Typically, the trained dogs can locate a victim anywhere from ten seconds to three or four minutes.
If certified, the teams will be able to help search in tight places and through rubble looking for survivors in actual disaster situations.
Approximately 200 teams are certified as urban search and rescue dogs for FEMA in the U.S.
Disaster search dogs and handlers have been utilized in some major disasters like the World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina and the most recent hurricanes of Florence and Michael.