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Fire Dog Joins KCK Fire Department

Zoom is a two-and-a half year old male Labrador Retriever. Zoom was born, raised, and trained at Ground Zero Training just outside Tuttle, Oklahoma. Zoom’s training includes agility training, general obedience, directional control, and disaster response. Specifically Zoom is a “live find” K9, meaning he is trained to search for and locate trapped or lost human victims. Zoom locates a human scent and narrows the “source odor” to a small area and gives a continuous barking alert until his handler arrives at that location. He will stay with a victim alerting until he is rewarded with his toy by his handler.

Zoom’s assigned handler is Driver Mike Searcy of KCKFD. K9 Handler Searcy and Zoom were paired up through a program between Ground Zero (GZ) and the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office designed to pair these highly trained K9s with Fire Department Handlers across the State of Kansas. Handler Searcy and Zoom began their work and training together in December of 2018. Through this program Handler Searcy and Zoom belong to the Kansas State Task Force (KSTF) K9 Unit. In addition, through the development of this program Zoom is also available for use by KCKFD and any mutual aid request by metro area agencies including in Missouri.

On March 16, 2019 Handler Searcy and Zoom took the first level of certification testing, the Foundational Skill Assessment (FSA). The duo successfully completed the testing which included human and animal aggression tests, agility elements, obedience tests, directional testing, and search testing. Passing the FSA certified them as a Type 2 Canine Search Team (CST). As a Type 2 CST they are in service for deployment throughout the State of Kansas through the KSTF K9 Unit and throughout the KC Metro area under KCKFD. A CST is an extremely effective tool in helping to save lives during both natural or man-made disasters.

Zoom lives with Handler Searcy and his family when off-duty and is regularly on-duty with Handler Searcy at KCKFD. The KCKFD CST continuously trains to refine their skills to answer the call when needed. In the near future they will undergo further certification testing with the goal of becoming a Type 1 CST. A Type 1 CST is a nationally deployable asset under the KSTF K9 Unit.

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