OSRT Search and Rescue K-9 Team Members Certified in High Level Search Techniques
October 31, 2020 - Mansfield, Ohio – Members of Ohio Special Response Team (OSRT) K-9 Unit attended The United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) certification program in Kettering, Ohio, successfully qualifying for their human remains search credential. Search K-9 Yeager, accompanied by handler James Fredrick, K-9 Kya, accompanied by handler Denise Kroger, and K-9 Ballo, accompanied by handler Jennifer Stocks successfully located multiple hidden targets. The qualifications tests required the K-9s to successfully locate hidden trace evidence in 6 separate vehicles as well as within a 2,500 square meter wooded search area.
Jennifer Stockes with K9 Baloo,
Denise Kroger with K9
Kya, James Fredrick with K9 Yeager
OSRT K-9 handlers Dale Thompson and Sarah Gentry, who accompanied the team, reported that this was the first attempt at qualification by these handlers. Thompson and Gentry explained that OSRT K-9 teams meet weekly to train and develop highly focused search techniques for each animal. Dogs and handlers also spend countless hours throughout the week working on specific skills.
The Ohio Special Response Search and Rescue Team frequently utilizes K-9 search units in the course of providing services to Ohio and national law enforcement and fire departments. OSRT now has 6 K9 teams covering Trailing, Cadaver / Human Remains (land and water), Live Area Search, and Collapsed Structures, all fully qualified via a wide range of certification organizations.
The Ohio Special Response Search and Rescue Team, a 501(c)3 headquartered in Mansfield with 7 units around the state, is the single non-profit volunteer Ohio SAR team credentialed in the Federal Emergency Management Administration's (FEMA) Emergency Support Function 9, Job Type 35, Wilderness Search and Rescue. OSRT search team members are credentialed via FEMA, Homeland Security, Mountain Rescue Association, and the National Association for Search and Rescue.