The Fire Department has a new resource for rescue situations, K9 Cole! Cole is a 2 year-old black Labrador that is trained to find live human victims, whether they are lost, hurt, unconscious, or trapped.
Cole can search out victims anywhere he can get scent and will bark where he thinks is the strongest source of scent. He can even catch scent in buildings, in rubble (collapsed buildings), in snow, water, and mud, and even outside as far away as a half a mile away.
With every great rescue dog there is a great handler. Firefighter-Paramedic Roxanne Bauman, who has been on the fire department for 12 years, always wanted to work with a search and rescue dog.
On December 14th Cole arrived in Utah from California. Firefighter Bauman’s hopes are that within a year both she and Cole will be certified as a team with FEMA to search for humans in almost every type of disaster situation. After that, they have to recertify every two years to maintain their certification and Cole is expected to work for 10 years before he retires.
Cole is an air scenting dog that looks for live victims and does not require an article of clothing to find the victim. Some dogs can have more than one specialty, but it is not as common and requires extra training in addition to their regular daily training.
Cole was born in California. He was brought into El Dorado County Animal Shelter and was originally named Bouncer, because all he did was jump up and down all day long.
Even during his first interview for adoption, they could tell he had too much energy that needed to be used for good. That's when they called the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (NDSDF) in Ojai, California to see if he qualified. He did! His name was changed to Cole when he entered in the specialized training at Santa Paula, California.
Cole and Firefighter Roxanne Bauman are members of Utah Task Force I (UT-TF1). There are only 28 Task Force Teams throughout the U.S. and Utah is one of those few teams. UT-TF1 has been deployed to national disasters such as 9/11, Katrina, and even the recent Colorado Flooding last September.
Not only will Cole be a great national resource, he will be used locally in Davis County and regionally in the state if there is a local emergency. UT-TF1 has over 200-plus members and can self-sustain its 70-member deployed team for 72 hours without any outside assistance. The Task Force currently has nine certified FEMA Type-I and Type-II Human Remains (Cadaver) Canine/Handler Teams. Cole is one of five new dogs working toward their certifications to complete a 12 team roster.
Firefighter Bauman said, “At home, it's a lot more relaxed, even with family life and the hectic pace of Christmas and the Holidays. The running joke is that all I got for Christmas was Cole (coal)! But that is a good thing, because that's all I have wanted for the last two years.”
For more information) about UT-TF1