Monday Night November 11th saw Eastern Berks and Red Hill Fire Departments going to the dogs. Or more accurately, the dogs coming to Eastern Berks Station One. Pennsylvania Canine Search and Rescue (PACSAR) made the trip from Lancaster County, where they are based in Denver, PA, to educate firefighters about their capabilities for search and rescue missions.
Twice in the past year, EBFD has had PACSAR dispatched to assist with searches. In 2018, PASCAR and EBFD personnel located the person during a night time mission in Bechtelsville. A few months ago, PASCAR was dispatched , but personnel from EBFD and Seisholtsville Fire found the missing person in District Township before PACSAR arrived and they were recalled.
EBFD Chief Mutter requested they come out and explain their capabilities, training, what we can do until their arrival, and show us an example of their dogs. We learned that, unlike the movies, most Search and Rescue dogs are not bloodhounds, but a variety of breeds specially trained and certified for this task. Trailing dogs and scent dogs have different functions and the dogs do not work in packs, but alone with a handler and a firefighter (for knowledge of the area and radio communication.)
Following a a presentation by three of their members, we moved out back to the field and woods behind the Barto Station for a demonstration of one of their dogs following a scent laid down by one of our members.
Find our more about them and their mission at www.pacsar.org