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Manhattan Fire Department Search and Rescue team participates in training

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 8:06 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - The Manhattan Fire Department’s Search and Rescue team used drones and K-9s to search a local park this morning.

But nothing was wrong -- it was part of special training.

A man is missing in the trees of Washington Marlatt Park -- and the Manhattan Fire Department’s search and rescue team need to find him.

“We are increasing our capability...daily...to meet the needs of our community.” Manhattan Fire Department, Battalion Chief of Training, Jason Hudson says.

The man is a firefighter -- hiding as part of a training exercise in finding missing persons. Friday’s work combined drones, a K-9, and grid-searching by fire personnel…

First, the drone team helped narrow their area of focus.

“We can pinpoint with GPS and send crews to a directed search for points of interest or...actual victim locations.” Manhattan Fire Department, Captain Dave Graham says.

“It allows you to deploy your resources much more effectively,” Hudson says.

Firefighter Kody Songs and K-9 Duke then headed out to the trees to test Duke’s skills.

“It lets our people know...our K-9′s capability and how fast that dog can work,” Hudson says.

Following the K-9 search, firefighters searched specific areas of the park to locate mannequins, which had been placed in the park earlier.

“When you blend all those techniques together it really increases your capabilities,” Hudson says.

Manhattan Fire Department Search and Rescue says combining the use of multiple search capabilities makes searching large areas easier.

Additional training exercises will be held in the next two weeks for the remaining two-thirds of the Search and Rescue team.

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