FEMA Search Canine Evaluation
updated: Feb 27, 2013, 4:07 PM
Source: Santa Barbara County Fire Department
On the morning of February 23rd, in less than optimal conditions, Riley and Santa Barbara County
Firefighter Eric Grey were successful in passing the FEMA Search Canine Evaluation. This is a
mandatory test, taken every three years, that enables Riley and Firefighter Grey to deploy anywhere in
the United States and abroad in the event of a disaster.
Riley, a yellow lab, was bounced around in his early years because he was so
rambunctious and proved to be too much for a couple families to handle. But then he
found the perfect fit: the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) training. SDF
trainers said Riley's exuberance and constant desire to be doing something helped him
sail through his training.
"Riley did such an incredible job, said Firefighter Grey. I could not be more proud!"
Leading up to the evaluation, Riley and Eric trained more than normal in order to give
Riley as many scenarios as possible to work through. This required large amounts of
travel in and around the Southern California.
The Santa Barbara Fire Fighters Alliance continues to provide incredible support for
Riley and Eric's training and equipment-at no cost to the fire department.
Riley is a live scent disaster search canine whose job it is to assist Urban Search and
Rescue (USAR) personnel in determining the presence of live people trapped in rubble
following a manmade or natural disaster.
Eric and Riley are assigned to the Regional USAR Team RTF-7 and the State Team
CATF-2. Both teams utilize Eric and Riley in the same manner. State Team CATF-2 (Los
Angeles County Fire Department), is one of the two internationally deployable teams
decreed by the U.S. State Department.
In 2011, Eric and Riley were deployed to Tohoku Japan as part of CATF-2 for nine days
following the catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami to search for survivors.
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