Information Bulletin Number 0812267

New York – Task Force 2 (NYTF-2) Takes Top Honors in K-9 Search & Rescue Competition.

Four members and their K-9 partners, of the NYTF-2 USAR Team participated in a week long competition and training evaluation. The Teams were Greg Gould & Kura, John Stewart & Lani, Bill Simms & Bonnie, and Jason Geary & Marsi. K-9 Search Team Manager Tony Santulli, participated in the competition and coordinated the NYTF-2 teams response and operations at each event. Tony's participation and coordination was cited as one of the reasons why the NYTF-2 K-9 Teams functioned so well.

The scenario was a typhoon that had hit the area trapping several people and flooding the area. The simulated catastrophe created several sink holes, mass building collapse and a Navy Destroyer over-turning. Teams were transported by the Coast Guard out to the destroyer where teams had to search all levels for trapped crew members. Teams were transported by a county sheriff's department helicopter to conduct safe boarding and flight operations. Large warehouses, abandoned motel/resort and seminary dorms, classrooms and a chapel slated for demolition were used for building searches. The local County Fire Training Academy was set up for a large area search including tunnels, sink holes, piled up vehicles, chemical storage, rubble piles, and high-rises buildings. Operations started at 5:00 am and continued through 6:00 pm. Approximately two hours were allotted for each location including travel time.

Points were given for:
Briefing information collected from witnesses on scene,
Search Team Manager strategies,
Team work,
Victims found,
Canine health and care.

Four teams participated representing Nevada, Southern California, Central California and New York State. New York's Teams took top honors in points.

“The fact we continue to train twice a week and have a Search Team Manager that has taken the canine handler course and team manager's course and knows the characteristics of the dogs and handlers, is what got us to where we are.” Said team member, Bill Simms.

Congratulations to all of the K-9 Teams for an excellent showing!