TECHNICAL RESCUE: Louisiana USAR Task Force Trains in Canine-Lift Techniques

By its very name, an urban search and rescue (USAR) task force must be able to search. The three standard search techniques are physical, technical and canine. All three have advantages and disadvantages that must be considered when a task force is...


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The second lift went as well as the first. The canines were just as calm going up 50 feet as they were going 10. We continued having the handlers stay with the dogs at the beginning and end of the lift, but there was a relatively long period when the dogs were hanging in the harness unsupervised and they stood this quite well. We only had to reset the haul system once and the average suspension time for the dogs was about 40 seconds. The dogs came through the window easily with the lift commander coordinating the main and tag line handlers to position the canines correctly. We used one LA TF-1 member and the canine’s handler to bring him or her through the window.

The drill was extremely successful. Our rescue and search personnel got a good rope-rescue refresher, and our canine folks got to work with a brand-new technique. Team members from several disciplines coordinated operations. We added some new tools to the tool kit and sharpened some old ones. As a USAR task force must be ready to perform many tasks, working with canines and rope is one that sooner or later will come our way. n