K-9 SARK Members In The News!

Crisis City Open House, March 2012 !

recon Crisis City hosts open house March 24, 2012

Crisis City, a multidiscipline training facility operated by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, cordially invites the public to its second annual Disaster Preparedness Day and Open House Saturday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend and parking is free.

“We anticipate over 1,000 attendees this year with many more exhibitors than last year,” said Angee Morgan, deputy director of KDEM. The open house will be the culmination of a three-day training at Crisis City event involving several haz-mat and search and rescue teams from Hays, Garden City, Manhattan, Salina, Wichita and the Kansas City metro area. As part of the training, unmanned aerial vehicles will provide aerial search and rescue and situational awareness for the teams working on the ground.

During the open house, the public will have the opportunity to get an up-close look at emergency rescue techniques and equipment used by a variety of first responders. Current plans include:

A demonstration by Salina Fire/Search and Rescue Task Force 8

· Search and rescue dog demonstrations by the Kansas Search and Rescue Dog Association, K-9 Search and Rescue of Kansas, Inc. and Sedgwick County Emergency Management K-9 Search Team

· A demonstration on the Kansas Pipeline Association pipeline venue by Salina Fire Department/Hazmat responders and the Salina Airport Authority’s Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicle #2

· A demonstration of an unmanned aerial vehicle

Other demonstrations may be added as event planning continues.

In a brief ceremony at 11 a.m., Invisible Fence of Central Kansas will present a canine oxygen mask kit to K9 Search and Rescue of Kansas, Inc.

Mina In the event of a disaster requiring deployment of the Emergency Support Trailer housed at Crisis City, the K-9 mask kit will deploy as part of the support package contained within the trailer. Among other capabilities, the trailer has a robust emergency medical cache for human and K-9 responders.

The donated kit contains three oxygen masks, one each for small, medium and large dogs. The masks will also be used at Crisis City in the event of an injury to any dog engaged in search and rescue, guard dog, attack dog, drug or bomb sniffing or any other type of canine-related training. Kansas has three formal search and rescue dog K-9 organizations; two of them regularly train at Crisis City. K-9 Search and Rescue of Kansas, Inc. coordinated this donation for Crisis City. Invisible Fence previously donated K-9 mask kits to the Wichita Fire Department and Ford County Fire Department.

Morgan said the open house is a fun and educational event for the whole family. “Whenever there is an emergency situation, the public is kept back for their own safety and to give emergency responders space to work,” said Morgan. “This open house gives the public the opportunity to see what these emergency responders do in those situations and how they do it.”

Jager A number of vendors and public service organizations will also be on hand to provide information on emergency preparedness and showcase emergency response equipment and other products. Crisis City, located eight miles southwest of Salina, provides state of the art training facilities to all emergency response and support agencies, whether in one of its classrooms or on any of the training venues. Crisis City is a multi-use, fully functional training complex for local, state and federal responders, law enforcement officers, emergency management professionals, public and private industry safety professionals, and military operations in support of civil authorities. In addition to classroom space, training areas at Crisis City i nclude railway accident response, an urban village, agriculture and farm safety, collapsed structure rescue, a technical rescue tower, aircraft venue, and a pipeline venue. Other training venues are in the planning stages.

For more information about Crisis City and training opportunities, go online to kansastag.gov/KDEM.asp?PageID=370 Keep up with events at Crisis City on Facebook; search for Crisis City Kansas

Laurie Vickery & K-9 Recon

recon In Kansas, when a volunteer answers the call, no matter the time or distance and risks their life to save a complete stranger, we call them a hero. In Kansas when a hero is falls ill or is injured, we take care of them. We hold BBQs and bake sales. We raffle off cars and we hold auctions. We take offerings at church and donations at the corner store register. We take care of those who take care of us.

But what about those heroes who just happen to have four legs and fur? Although since the dogs of 9/11, awareness has increased about the abilities and achievements of Search and Rescue dogs, funding for emergency medical care for these heroes is still few and far between. Read about Recon's battle with ehrlichia and the KAKE TV story about her.


Invisible Fence of Central Kansas Donates K9 Oxygen Masks

derrick Beth Ericson, owner of Invisible Fence of Central Kansas presents Justin Swank with a Oxygen Recovery Mask Kit for Pets. Justin is a Firefighter / Paramedic with Ford County Fire Department and our K9SARK Deputy Director. The Kits consist of three different sized oxygen masks specially designed for pets. This is one of two kits going to the Ford County Fire Department. One more will go to K9SARK. Invisible Fence of Central Kansas donated over 40 Mask Kits to the Wichita Fire Department as well. Please check out the Dodge City Globe article here ! In addition Beth donated another K9 Mask Kit in the spring of 2011 !!

K9SARK Team members test for their NASAR K-9 SARTECH III and II

Laurie K9SARK Team members test for their NASAR K-9 SARTECH III and II certifications during the winter of 2008. This is a national certification with only a handfull of search dogs in the state obtaining the title. The certification requires a written test of general SAR skills along with skills for the K-9 handler. A pack check follows the written test. A searcher must have and carry all the gear listed by NASAR in a 24-hour ready pack. After the pack check the K-9 handler and their dog must find a hidden victim in a timed test over a 60 Acre area for the SARTECH III and over a wider area for the SARTECH II.


Greensburg residents held tight as neighbors, rescuers searched

K-9 SARK member Justin Swank in blue with K-9 Blaze Team Members at Fire Command Post

TIM POTTER with The Wichita Eagle, in a story about Greensburg writes:

Around 10 that morning, Ford County firefighter Justin Swank, 23, learned that someone might be trapped in the area around the church. Swank, who volunteers as a search dog handler, went there with his German shepherd, Blaze. The Greensburg disaster was the first time that the 16-month-old dog was being pressed into service. He is trained to lead Swank to human scent. Blaze went to a debris pile and, while glancing back at Swank, began to whine. Near an opening in the debris, near what turned out to be the blocked staircase, Blaze started to descend. As workers cleared some rubble, they quickly found Mabel Schmidt and her brother and sister. They had been trapped for about 12 hours.

Read the full story at The Wichita Eagle

Laure Vickery Talks About Hurricane Katrina

K-9 SARK member Laurie Vickery was notified by FEMA that she has been activated to help in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

Laurie helped victims of the hurricane and flooding to apply for federal aid and assistance.

This is Laurie's second call out for FEMA. Last year she was activated and sent to Atlanta to help with hurricane Frances that struck Florida in 2004.

She will keep us updated on her experiences in the relief effort. Below Laurie shares her Katrina Story.

Hurricane Katrina 2005

On Friday September 3rd, 2005, I received a call from FEMA to be deployed to Atlanta to respond to Hurricane Katrina. I left for Atlanta on September 4th and checked into my hotel, and immediately went to the Sheraton Gateway where the Fema Command Post was set up to check in. I ran into Pam Moon whom I had meet last year while in Atlanta for Hurricane Frances. She had arrived a day before me. I checked in and proceeded to go thru the processing stations. I then went to a refresher class on Customer Relations, after finishing the training the wait was on to find a group and get deployed. The majority of the people FEMA called were fireman; needless to say the FEMA customer relations people very scarce. They assigned people to teams with most of the fireman going with teams from their fire departments. We had to wait to get assigned to a team.

We waited for about two days and received a call late to report back to the Sheraton for our team assignment. Our team consisted of two fireman from Michigan, they were Steve Richardson and Tom Blongren, Brian Kelliher from I.N.S in Washington D.C., Pam Moon from Texas, Jay Verdi from Montana, Dylan Younts and Emory Wright from Florida and myself. We were being deployed to a unknown destination and were to depart on Wednesday morning, September 7th at 05:00 hours. We were instructed to buy tents and camping gear, because there was no lodging available. We drove from Atlanta to Jackson, Mississippi and arrived at the check in location to to find out were we were being deployed to. We had to wait for our team leader to arrive as he was running behind. We found out once we arrived that the only people that were supposed to be sent to where we were going were fireman. The allowed us to go, they needed all the help they could get. We were sent to Gautier Mississippi (pronounced Goo-Shey). We spent the night sleeping on cots in the Gymnasium of a high school.

The next morning be were briefed and then deployed to NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. I called our place Space camp. we slept in big tents that held over 400 people a piece. They had cots set up and air conditioning in each tent which were run by huge generators. We had a mess tent and portable potties and semi's that were converted into showers. I was quite impressed with the operation they had set up in such a short time. The Operations Command Center was located at Stennis, everything was being run from there. We were assigned to the biggest and the most economically depressed areas of Mississippi. Our job was to get people signed up for FEMA benefits, we were deployed to Picayune Mississippi where we passed out MRE"s and water to the people of Picayune. The following day we were assigned to Wal-Mart. We sat up in front of Wal- Mart passing out flyers, and getting people to phones to get them registered. The majority of the Picayune residents did not have phone service, so our team used our government issued cells phones and set up a phone bank for people to register.

We would dial 1-800 FEMA and get an operator and then pass the phone from person to person until they got registered. The registration process took a minimum of thirty minutes per person. Word traveled fast thru town, people would come and say we heard you were here. We had people lining up waiting to sign up. We had six cell phones and the pay phone running a day. We had people thanking us left and right for setting up this phone bank. Our Commander at Stennis called us for a meeting and told us that he had received phone calls from the government officials, they were being told by the people about our phone bank and they were very appreciative. We were dubbed the Wal-mart team.

We signed up an average of 150 people a day. I listened to stories of people that rode out the storm to people that has lost everything. Their place of employment destroyed and wondering how they would feed their families. We shared hugs and tears with the people we encountered. I had two people tell me stories of losing loved ones. It was very emotional listening to these stories; I just could not imagine losing everything you own and a loved one on top of that. Your belongings can be replaced but loved ones can not. We were allowed to go to different areas affected by the storm. Our tours included Biloxi Mississippi, Pass Christian, Waveland, and Bay St Louis. The pictures on TV did no justice to the devastation I saw. I have pictures of homes totally destroyed it just looked like an atom bomb had gone of every where.

Katrina not only destroyed peoples homes it destroyed the casinos taking away the means of employment for the citizens of Mississippi. It was a very humbling experience and I was glad I was able to be a part of the recovery effort even though I was only spent two weeks down there. I was an experience I will never forget. When I arrived home I received a packet from FEMA to be hired as a permanent part time employee.


Hurricane Katrina Photos

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