Ground Zero Works To Train Dogs For First Responders

Friday, April 16th 2021, 9:01 am
By: News 9

On Monday, survivors, victims' families, and first responders will gather at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum to mark 26 years since the Murrah building bombing.

That attack is the exact reason why Ground Zero is working on training dogs for first responders.

"Our dogs are tasked for finding live humans that are trapped in rubble situations," said Andrew McCann, a Major with OKC Fire.

These dogs train on rubble, rough terrain, and go and find a person hiding with a treat.

Every Wednesday, the seven ground zero dogs will train to prepare for the worst, and when the worst happened, like when a building collapsed earlier this month, these pups were on the scene. 

"We let them circle it. They were able to get into the attic area that was open. Check it out and come back out," said Bobby Mercer, a lieutenant with OKC Fire.

These dogs make up the Oklahoma task force one. Not only are they preparing for a building to collapse to retrieve, but they know all too well how to react in severe weather, especially in the 2013 Moore tornado.

"We were able to do our job in less than 12 hours. We were able to search the areas and be confident there were no other survivors," said McCann.

 Monday, we will remember the 26th anniversary of the OKC bombing. Our coverage of the event will begin at 8:45 a.m. We will bring you coverage throughout the day on News 9.