OKC Search, Rescue K-9s Train Weekly - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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OKC Search, Rescue K-9s Train Weekly

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When News 9 shows you video from the aftermath of disasters, it's often hard to believe anyone could still be surviving beneath the destruction. When News 9 shows you video from the aftermath of disasters, it's often hard to believe anyone could still be surviving beneath the destruction.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

When News 9 shows you video from the aftermath of disasters, it's often hard to believe anyone could still be surviving beneath the destruction.

Search and rescue dogs are now the go-to tool to find living victims.

It's a big game of hide and go seek for these dogs training in a concrete pile looking for victims, skills they are able to translate and use during times of disaster. To keep their skills sharp, Oklahoma City's search and rescue K-9s practice weekly.

“In their minds they know that live human scent equals reward,” Lt. Mark Edwards, K-9 Coordinator for the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

And for these highly trained dogs that reward is toy, like this rope.

Today, the K-9 handlers took turns wedging themselves into cracks and crevasses inside this concrete pit simulating a trapped victim.

“He'll survey and he's actually counting every person and then smells. And if the smells don't match up with the count he continues to look,” Edwards said. “He alerts by barking and then you reward him and that's the game to him. All it is, is a game.”

A lifesaving game used countless times in Oklahoma to find living victims.

Most recently, they were used to search for missing elementary school students from the May 2013 tornado in Moore.

“The K-9s hands down, there's no comparison will find more victims and clear an area faster than anything that we have,” he said.

These dogs aren't only working here in Oklahoma, they are also sent to other surrounding states like Missouri and Texas during times of disaster.

There are five search and rescue dogs in Oklahoma City. Four new ones will be added next year to help phase out older dogs.

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