KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department has a new four-legged member on its team.
Zoom is a "live find" K-9 trained to find victims trapped after disasters.
The two-and-half-year-old Labrador Retriever picks up on a human scent and narrows the search down to a small area. Then, he continuously barks until his handler, Firefighter Mike Searcy, arrives to finish the rescue.
"These dogs are a really powerful tool when it comes to search and rescue, especially the search aspect of it," Searcy said. "These dogs can clear larger areas much faster than a group of professional rescue individuals from a fire department or a task force."
Zoom joined the department about three months ago and recently passed his certification test with his handler.
"Him being right here in the metro, if anything disaster-related, whether it's man-made or natural, were to occur, we're right here and able to respond quickly," Searcy said.
The partnership was made possible through the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office and Ground Zero Training, an Oklahoma-based organization that trains dogs like Zoom.
When Zoom isn't on the job ,he enjoys time at home with the Searcy family.