Nebraska Task Force 1 (NETF1) Canine Search Specialist Dallas Fletcher and his dog "Price" were the key to a successful search for a potential suicide victim earlier this week.
Late Monday afternoon, Lincoln Fire & Rescue (LFR) was called to assist in a search for a woman who was attempting suicide under a bridge. LFR responded to the call along with Lincoln Police Department and the Nebraska State Patrol. The woman had fled into some nearby woods, and initial attempts to locate her were unsuccessful.
LFR then dispatched Fletcher and Price of NETF1, the federal Urban Search and Rescue Team based at LFR, along with Lincoln Fire Captain/Search Team Manager Eric Jones. The team quickly located the victim who was unconscious. LFR medical personnel arrived to care for and transport the victim to a local hospital.
"We realized we had to find the person soon," said Jones. "Because of the amount of blood on the scene, we realized it could be a life or death situation."
The type of canine team used in the search is primarily trained to locate victims trapped in a structural collapse. The dogs work by detecting human scent in the air as opposed to scent off the ground. Fletcher and Price, a nationally certified team, also helped locate a missing accident victim who rolled a vehicle near Ashland this week. NETF1 has five certified canine teams.
The City's participation in the federal Urban Search and Rescue program provides LFR with technical resource training and responders to augment the department's capability. NETF1 has been on numerous deployments including Hurricane Katrina, the World Trade Center collapse, the De Bruce Grain Elevator explosion in Kansas and the Greenberg, Kansas tornado. More information is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: fire).