April 19th 2013April/May Calendar Announcements for The Heartworks and Renaissance Schools Read More
Rescue Dogs and Owner Visit Heartworks School in Williston
Mike Halpin, of Essex Junction, and his dogs, Sadie and Mollie, of The New England K-9 Search and Rescue Unit “Scent to Serve”, visited the Heartworks School in Williston on Tuesday, April 3 to showcase their search and rescue skills for the children and teachers at the school. Following an indoor demonstration and brief talk about the wonderful work that the K-9 unit does to assist in finding missing people in the New England area, the trio performed sample search and rescue techniques out on the playground area, even locating someone who was hiding behind a tree.
Both the trainers and the thirteen canines in the unit wear work vests, equipped with special search and rescue equipment, as they perform their duties, working closely with area law enforcement agencies as they assist in tracking and locating individuals who are lost or missing. Mike instructed the children that if they should ever become lost in the woods that they should “Hug a Tree” which means to find a large tree to sit under as they wait for someone to find them and to stay put and not wander around. Of their over 180 searches together, Mike told of his most rewarding rescue which involved working with nine year old Sadie, along with the rest of the K-9 unit, to find a six year old boy at 2:00 am who had been lost in the woods for thirteen hours.
During the demonstrations on the playground, nine month old Mollie used her training in shepherding to circle around and around the older dog Sadie as she “protected” her and guided her to a safe place. After the successful completion of both training and actual search and rescue tasks, the dogs are rewarded with play time using their favorite Frisbee.
We would like to thank Mike, Sadie and Mollie for sharing their impressive life-saving skills with our school community and would also like to thank the Gernander family for arranging this exciting demonstration for the children. For more information about the work this amazing group does throughout the New England area, please visit their website at www.nek9sar.org.