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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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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 379544 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-27 04:26 PM

Congratulations Eric and Riley! Way to go!!


 COMMENT 379548 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-27 04:28 PM

That's the way you do it! Good job!


 COMMENT 379556 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-27 04:36 PM

Congrats! Gotta love dogs!! Truly a mans best friend and the most loyal companion


 COMMENT 379562P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-27 04:41 PM

Bravo! Thanks for the hard work and dedication.

I'd love to know what shelter Riley came from, if it was a shelter


 BULLSEYEB agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-27 05:33 PM

Way to go, Eric and Riley! We need teams like you.


 COMMENT 379616 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-27 06:01 PM

Congrats Riley and Eric! You've reached the pinnacle for any pooch. Only the most elite of all canines make it to the top. Awesome.


 COMMENT 379716 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-27 09:52 PM

I love Riley! How wonderful that he found his mission in life with firefighter Grey!
A heartwarming story!


 COMMENT 379729P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-27 11:17 PM

Here is Rley's story:


 COMMENT 379734 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-28 06:36 AM



 COMMENT 379745 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-28 07:13 AM

What a wonderful story. Thank you edhat for beginning my day with an image of such a heartwarming and hopeful future for Riley & Eric and all the people in need that they will be helping :)


 COMMENT 379751 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-28 07:22 AM

Huge thanks to Eric and Riley for their hard work and dedication. So proud to have you here in Santa Barbara!


 COMMENT 379782 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-28 09:02 AM

Thanks, Edhatters, for keeping comments so Positive


25% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.



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