On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Phoenix Passes her FEMA Canine Certification Test!!

On June 7th, Phoenix and I flew out to Massachusetts to take the FEMA Canine Certification Evaluation Urban Search and Rescue test in Littleton, MA (outside of Boston).  It was her first flight ever and she behaved like a pro!

Friday we drove up to Maranatha Kennels in Maine to see how the Task Force dogs were coming along in their training, ate great seafood at DiMillo's Restaurant, and spent a little time in the Atlantic Ocean!

On the pier in Portland, ME

Then we took our test on Saturday!  Phoenix and I were scheduled to start at 1:40pm!  It is so hard to wait!  Ohhhh the agony!!!

For FEMA certification, the canine team has to find, alert, and flag victim locations on 2 piles.  Each pile has a different type of access: Full Access and Limited Access.  And the canine team has to find anywhere from 4-6 victims total on both piles.  We are not told how many victims were placed in a pile nor their locations.  False alerts are not allowed, and different types of distractions are placed in the piles such as food, clothing, toys, and dead animals.

Full Access Pile-scale pile size to humans and trucks in pic

Our first pile was the Full Access pile.  Full access means I can walk all around the pile with her freely. It was also the largest pile.  Phoenix found and alerted on 3 victims in that pile.

Limited Access Pile in foreground

The second pile is the Limited Access.  This means that I cannot go on the pile until Phoenix alerts.  I'm at the base of the pile in a location where I cannot see a thing-this means more waiting until Phoenix barks (that's the FEMA alert).  Once Phoenix alerts, I'm allowed on the pile to the location where she alerts.  After that, I cannot move anywhere on the pile (unless I choose to go back to Start) until Phoenix alerts again.  Phoenix found and alerted on 3 victims on that pile!

Phoenix is still barking while I explain to the Evaluator where she alerted.

Then there's more waiting until all the teams completed their test.  We were finally told our results at 6:40pm!!!  Turns out they placed 6 victims total, and we got them all correct!   Wooohooo!!!

Phoenix and I are now a FEMA Certified Canine Team!  FYI- Katy and I are still a FEMA Certified Canine Team too.  Yes, my two girls-I'm so proud of them!