Grafton VFD K-9 Unit Works With Local Law Enforcement - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Grafton VFD K-9 Unit Works With Local Law Enforcement

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GRAFTON -

First responders are using K-9 Search and Rescue teams more and more often in emergency situations.

The Grafton Volunteer Fire Department is training its dogs to assist law enforcement agencies when needed.

"The unit has been in existence for just a short time; approximately two years. We work directly with the Volunteer Fire Department here in Grafton but we also respond to other incidents in the area," said Beckie Stanevich, Grafton VFD K-9 Handler.

The Grafton Volunteer Fire Department's K-9 Search and Rescue Unit said it has touched many lives in such a short amount of time.

It trains its dogs in tracking and trailing, human remains detection, and air-scent.

"If we sent them out right now, they would find all of these people here. If there is only one person in the woods they are going to find only one person. But they aren't specific. They don't have to have a scent article. They can find anybody," Stanevich said.

In order to certify the dogs, the unit said it needs a lot of training.

It has been training with the Bridgeport Police Department on crime scene preservation.

"We explained to them if you have to secure something or you have to take something into custody because it could disappear or something like that, we explained to them these are the processes of things we need for a chain of custody," said Lt. Gary Weaver, Bridgeport Police Department, "We just sat down with them and said this is what we look for and what we need."

Bridgeport police said they are extremely impressed with everything the dogs can do and would definitely call the unit in emergency situations.

"Just the way they move, their actions, the time it took them to do searches. They were very quick but they were also so methodical in how they did things. It was pretty neat to watch," Lt. Weaver said.

The Unit said it is training to be the best in the state.

"They have to work up and above the minimum standard so that the police officers, so that the family knows we are out there doing the best job possible," Stanevich said.

The Bridgeport Police said it is working to have a training session with the K-9 unit in the Middletown Mall.