Five canines from Ohio Task Force 1 will head to Washington State to assist in cleanup efforts after the March 22 mudslide that is being called one of the most devastating in U.S. history.
The dogs, trained in human remains detection (HRD), are being deployed immediately to the area where 18 people are still missing. This is the first time HRD canines are being used as a primary resource in post-disaster response systems.
Ohio and the other HDR dog teams will work the site as the primary detection resource following cleanup efforts. Any points where the dogs signal an alert will be followed by probing for additional signs of victims, according to a release from Ohio Task Force 1.
Dogs from eight other states are being deployed as well as a part of a surge plan that hopes to account for all eighteen missing people within the next two weeks.
The canines travel frequently with Ohio Task Force 1 specialists, according to Phil Sinewe. They have responded to numerous natural disasters, including hurricane Katrina in 2005.