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USAR Canine Search and Rescue Team Wins Major National Award

On December 5 and 6, 2009 six K-9 teams from the Rhode Island Urban Search and Rescue Team responded to the Lakehurst Navel Air Station in Lakehurst New Jersey to participate in the Canine Disaster Type I and Type II certification tests. The Type I Canine Evaluation is the highest certification a canine team can achieve under the State Urban Search and Rescue (SUSAR) System. The Type II Canine Evaluation is the second highest certification a canine team can achieve. Both tests are designed to show the teams ability to search and locate multiple live victims who are buried or trapped under rubble from a concrete structural collapse. The Type I certification is valid for three years and the Type II evaluation is valid for two years.

Two of Rhode Island’s canine teams took and passed the Type I evaluation which is their first for the RI USAR Team. Two additional canine teams successfully passed their Type II evaluation and one other canine team successfully passed their Type II Human Remains Detection evaluation.

One of Rhode Islands newest USAR canine teams successfully passed all but one element of their Type II Evaluation and will be re-tested in that element only in the near future. The test was conducted in some of the worst weather possible as the canine teams experienced near freezing temperatures, rain, sleet, wind, and snow for the entire first day of their tests.

The success of these canine teams is the result of years of dedicated and consistent training as well as personal sacrifice and perseverance.

Below is the list of certified teams:

Matthew Zarrella and Canine Eva Type l Live Person Michael Reis and Canine Ashley Type l Live Person Bob St. Martin and Canine Roxy Type ll Live Person Michael LeClair and Canine Rudi Type ll Live Person Jennifer Anderson and Canine Asa Type ll Human Remains Detection

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