“We have people here from Mexico,” Bill Brass, Program Manager for Utah’s Task Force One, said. “We are trying to cross train their dogs with our dogs.”
The dogs are taught to search through rubble to find survivors after natural or man made disasters or terrorist attacks. Authorities from Mexico City chose Utah to train their K-9’s for a variety of reasons.
“Mexico City is very similar to Salt Lake City in terms of earthquake potential and the climate is similar as well,” Brass said.
It takes about two years to train and certify the dogs, which are estimated at about a $30,000 value.
Utah is overdue for a major earthquake and if one were to hit, thousands of people may be trapped. Cadaver dogs can tell the difference between the scent of someone who is dead or alive.
“They are so good,” Brass added. “When we get an alert from these dogs we are 99% sure there is someone there and they’re still alive.”