COLLEGE STATION — Canines and handlers from 11 search and rescue teams across the country honed their rescue skills at Disaster City March 12-13 during the Texas Engineering Extension Service’s (TEEX) Open Canine Training.
The teams, which came from as far away as Utah and Maryland, improved their skills on Disaster City’s three rubble piles, which include two new structures completed within the past year. TEEX serves as the sponsoring agency for Texas Task Force 1, both a state and national urban search and rescue team.
“It is difficult to find rubble piles for canine urban search and rescue training,” said Jim Yeager, TEEX training coordinator. “Texas Task Force 1 has trained at the facilities of many of these other task forces, and we are eager to repay the favor by allowing them to train here. We have two concrete rubble piles and one wood pile, making Disaster City one of the premier canine urban search and rescue training facilities in the nation.”
The rubble piles represent collapsed buildings and can replicate catastrophes such as tornadoes, tsunamis and weapons of mass destruction events. A series of tunnels are hidden within the piles where live “victims” can be safely placed for rescue.
In addition to eight Texas Task Force 1 canine teams, other task forces in attendance came from New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Utah, Nebraska, Indiana and Missouri.
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized training, exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond.