An Inside Look At LA Fire Urban Search & Rescue - KMSP-TV

An Inside Look At LA Fire Urban Search & Rescue

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Los Angeles, CA -

When tragedy strikes - like the tornado in Oklahoma - USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) Teams are called to help from all over the country. In fact, the USAR Team from LA City Fire is ready to go on 2 hours notice. They have thirteen K9s trained to sniff out victims under rubble. Seven are ready to travel on a moment's notice.

We went out with team members and their dogs yesterday. The dogs that have one of two primary jobs. One is to rescue victims who may be trapped. The other, to recover bodies of those who didn't survive.

We wanted to get a look from the dog's perspective so we strapped one of our small wide angle cameras to the back of "Huck." As he scampered through the rocks of a training center rubble pile we could see the jagged edges of rock and rebar he needed to skirt.

For the dogs and their firefighter handlers this work is very dangerous. Besides the ragged rocks and torn reinforcing bars the debris of a fallen building is also very unstable. So, after a dog's alert of a human in need of help, rescuers use cameras on poles as their eyes... to see the victim and obstacles. They have special audio equipment. Their ears... to hear those trapped. But, it's the dogs that provide the nose ... to sniff out someone to save.

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