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COLLEGE STATION – Texas Task Force 1’s Canine Program hosted nearly 70 canine search specialist teams and search team managers at the FEMA Canine Search Specialist Weekend at Disaster City? on Jan. 24-25.

“We were pleased that 20 of the 28 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams from across the nation were represented at the training event, along with canine teams from Texas Task Force 2,” said TX-TF1 Search Team Manager Susann Brown.

During the two-day event, the teams broke up into groups and were able to work with handlers from other areas to make the exercise one that promoted both new training and ideas being shared by all. Members of Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Emergency Team supported the event, ensuring that all canines received excellent care during the training exercises.

Canine Search Specialist Teams are highly trained members of urban search and rescue teams, and must be certified by FEMA Urban Search and Rescue to go on a federal deployment. They work on a wide variety of disasters, from tornadoes and hurricanes to wildfires and explosions. Canine Search Specialist Teams spend hundreds of hours in training and most serve on a volunteer basis.

View photos from the training on Flickr.

Contact Information

Kathy Fraser

Director of Marketing and Communications

I can’t think of a better way to have spent my time. It was eye-opening and extremely thought-provoking. We, unfortunately, had an opportunity almost immediately to implement some of the advice you and your team gave us when a small plane crashed in the woods south of our airport on Wednesday morning. Sadly, both individuals in the plane were killed. Your advice on communications was extremely valuable to us during and after that incident.

— Kristen Umstattd, Mayor, Town of Leesburg, Pennsylvania
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