IDHS Hosts South Koreans for K-9 Training at Highly Esteemed Search and Rescue Center
INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) Search and Rescue Training Manager Lillian Hardy has trained thousands of individuals from various public and private organizations through the IDHS Search and Rescue K-9 Training Program located at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in Edinburgh. Her expertise in K-9 search and rescue has drawn interest from across the globe to learn how to properly train search dogs in a variety of techniques.
This month, IDHS is hosting three South Korean Police officers who are learning from Hardy’s expertise and knowledge about how to build and manage their own program based on the IDHS Mari Hulman George Search and Rescue Training Center at Camp Atterbury.
"Indiana is extremely fortunate to have a resource like the Mari Hulman George Search and Rescue Training Center, and knowledgeable individuals like Lillian Hardy to operate it," said Joe Wainscott, executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. "We have a world-class facility created in partnership with Camp Atterbury and we are more than happy to share this resource to increase public safety throughout the world."
The relationship between South Korean officials and Hardy with the IDHS Search and Rescue Training Center began in 2008, when a South Korean firefighter spent five months with Hardy learning the basics of maintaining a high-level K-9 training program. After his experience at the training center, the South Korean firefighter was able to return home and provide justification for the implementation of a similar training center in South Korea with the support of the Korean Kennel Club.
After the catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan in April 2011, officials in South Korea saw the need for specialized search dogs to assist in the response effort, but lacked the infrastructure or expertise to train search and rescue dogs. South Korean officials again reached out to Hardy who travelled to Seoul, South Korea just a short time after the earthquake and tsunami to begin the process of developing a program for local public safety officials.
Korean officials were so impressed with what Hardy had to teach that they asked to visit the IDHS Search and Rescue Training Center to continue learning.
"Training search and rescue dogs is not an overnight process," said Hardy. "It takes time, and they need to be properly trained to ensure they can perform when called upon."
This month, the visiting Koreans are learning about the 1-2 year process of fully training a dog to perform search and rescue assistance. The instruction provided by Hardy at the IDHS Search and Rescue Training Center will help Korean officials ensure dogs in their program are properly trained.
Annually, about 1,500 individuals and dogs from across the country use the IDHS training center to gain practical search and rescue experience which cannot be found elsewhere.
Groups from across the United States who have trained at the center include community emergency response teams, volunteer civilian search teams, national guard units from several states, police departments, fire departments, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, various teams and individuals from U.S. military forces as well as K-9 handlers from the federally organized disaster response team Indiana Task Force One.
The IDHS K-9 Search and Rescue program consists of structured classes of varying levels and disciplines from basic foundation training to advanced skills. Subjects include: water recovery operations, building search, visual tracking, search management, land navigation, cadaver search, and K-9 training such as scent theory. The IDHS Mari Hulman George Search and Rescue Training Center also offers workshops, individual instruction and opportunities for search organizations to utilize training areas at the center.
For more information about the K-9 Search and Rescue Training Center, visit http://www.in.gov/dhs/2651.htm.
FOLLOWING CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MEDIA ONLY:
IDHS: John Erickson or Emily Norcross (317) 234-6713, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camp Atterbury: Capt. Jessica Halladay, (812) 526-1433, email@example.com
120106-A-CP678-115- Hejae Yang, one of a group of Korean Police now learning how to train search and rescue dogs at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security facility at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center from Jan. 2-20, works with Hera, one of many dogs currently being trained there, by having her search several boxes for human scent. Hera is taught lie still next to any box containing the scent. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Matt Scotten, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Public Affairs)
120106-A-CP678-105- Hejae Yang, one of a group of Korean Police now learning how to train search and rescue dogs at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security facility at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center from Jan. 2-20, congratulates Hera, one of many dogs currently being trained there, for a job well-done. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Matt Scotten, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Public Affairs)
120106-A-CP678-107- Hejae Yang, one of a group of Korean Police now learning how to train search and rescue dogs at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security facility at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center from Jan. 2-20, said that one of things he has learned is that search and rescue dog transcend their roles as tools for search and rescue missions. He now describes the relationship between dog and handler to be much more of a “partnership.” (Photo by Staff Sgt. Matt Scotten, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Public Affairs)