Nebraska Task Force 1 (NETF1), the Urban Search and Rescue team based at Lincoln Fire and Rescue, will conduct and participate in a two-day Canine Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) in Willard, Missouri (near Springfield) April 7 and 8. The assessment is part of a rigorous national certification each canine-handler team must pass in order to perform as part of an Urban Search and Rescue Team.
Four canine-handler teams from NE-TF1 will participate in the testing. The Missouri-based task force also will have two teams tested. The Nebraska teams are traveling to this site because the FSA testing is conducted at sites unfamiliar to the teams.
During structural collapses, canines help search teams locate victims using their sense of smell to detect live human scent, even from a victim buried deep in the rubble. An FSA measures canine capabilities in the categories of obedience, bark alert, direction and control, agility and ability on the rubble pile.
Members of the media are invited to observe from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The assessment will take place at the Regional Disaster Search Canine training site at Conco Quarries Inc., 902 South Quarry Rd., near Willard. The training site is located at FR105 and New Melville Road, one block north of McDonald's off of Highway 160.
More information on NETF1 is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: usar).