EMS

State Investigating Washington Firefighters Training on Dead Body

JEMS - News - Thu, 09/27/2018 - 06:01

BELLINGHAM, Washington (KIRO) - The state health department is now investigating after firefighters in Bellingham did an intubation procedure on a dead patient for their own training.

Washington Firefighters Misuse Funeral Home Body for Intubation Training

An investigative report by the city found 11 employees attempted to intubate the body 15 times on the floor of a fire station. When a nursing home patient died in a Bellingham medic unit this summer, firefighters brought his body to a fire station when the hospital didn't accept it.

According to a city investigation obtained by KIRO 7, when the funeral home reported it would take 45 minutes to arrive for pickup, firefighters laid the body on the floor and began practicing endotracheal intubations.

Eleven people intubated the man's body for training, making 15 attempts. The investigation did find a different practice that has gone on for 25 years where paramedics in Bellingham sometimes intubate deceased patients three or four times, a so-called "tube check" for their license recertification.

The report indicates the practice was recommended in certain circumstances by EMS Medical Program Director Dr. Marvin Wayne, who declined comment.

 

Categories: EMS

More Than 2,700 Attendees Show They Will 'Never Forget' at Sixth Annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

JEMS - News - Wed, 09/26/2018 - 14:45

Firefighters, their families, friends and community members from across the nation gathered at historic Lambeau Field on Saturday, September 22nd to participate in the sixth annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. More than 2,700 participants promised to “never forget” by honoring and remembering the 343 New York firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. This year’s event raised more than $135,000 with all proceeds benefitting the NFFF and has again been recognized as one of the largest stair climbs in the nation.

“Each year, the Green Bay Metro Fire Department forms a team and we encourage community members to participate alongside those in fire service,” said Lieutenant Shauna Walesh, life safety educator/PIO with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department. “It’s an honor to symbolically finish the climb that many firefighters were unable to complete that day.”

9/11 Memorial Stair Climb participants had the opportunity to ascend the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center while wearing a badge with the name and photograph of one of the fallen firefighters. At the 78th floor, the highest floor reached on 9/11, each climber rang a fire bell in honor of the individual on their badge.

“Since its inception, the Pierce Manufacturing team has been grateful for the opportunity to co-sponsor the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb along with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department,” said Jim Johnson, president of Pierce Manufacturing. “Not only is it an incredible day of remembrance and reflection, supporting the NFFF helps provide access to critical resources for survivors and co-workers of fallen firefighters.”

Categories: EMS

Arkansas Firefighter/EMTs Raising Statewide Awareness of PTSD Effects on First Reponders

JEMS - News - Wed, 09/26/2018 - 11:29

GRANT COUNTY, Ark. (KARK) - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an often under acknowledged but sometimes debilitating problem among first responders.

People in professions like law enforcement, fire and EMS often respond to calls that leave them struggling emotionally.

"It's hard to get law enforcement, it's hard to get EMS, it's hard to get fire to come out and say 'I have a problem', " says Travis Browning, one of the co-founders of Heroes Behind the Line.

Browning is no stranger to stress. He works as a K-9 deputy for Grant County Sheriff's Office, is a volunteer firefighter and works part time as an EMT. He sees it all.

Categories: EMS

FDNY, NYPD Brothers Answer Same 9-1-1 Call, Help Deliver Baby Together

JEMS - News - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 14:57

NEW YORK CITY (NBC5) -- Two brothers, one an NYPD cop and the other an FDNY EMT, responded to the same call for a woman in labor in Times Square and together helped deliver her baby.

NYPD officer Yan Poon was among the first cops responding to the 911 call from a hotel on West 43rd Street just after 12:30 p.m., according to police. In the room, he and officers Zhan Ren and Nicole Davis found Kristen Smith and her 35-year-old wife, Heather Smith, who was in active labor.

Read more at NBC 5.

 

Categories: EMS

5-Year-Old Girl Rushed to Hospital After Being Shot in Miami

JEMS - News - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 13:54

MIAMI (WSVN) - Police are investigating after a 5-year-old girl was shot inside a Miami apartment early Tuesday morning.

According to police, at around 3 a.m., they responded to an apartment building along Northwest 12th Avenue and 66th Street. Upon their arrival, officers encountered a woman holding her injured daughter in the building’s courtyard.

“Our main goal right now is to ensure that that juvenile is OK and that we locate this offender who was behind this senseless act,” said Miami Police Officer Kiaira Delva.

The girl was carried into an ambulance and transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Read more at WSVN.

 

Categories: EMS

EMS Agenda 2050: A Keynote Speaker’s Report from Washington, DC

JEMS - News - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 09:56

It was my great pleasure to be in Washington, DC, last week as a guest of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT)/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I was invited to attend—and be the keynote speaker during—the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agenda 2050 National Implementation Forum. The forum was held in the DOT’s impressive 2.1 million square-foot headquarters complex within the historic Washington Navy Yard.

It often surprises people in and out of emergency services to learn that the DOT has a long history of leadership in the development andadvancement of EMS across the U.S. This came about in the early 1970’s with DOT’s farsighted interest and leadership in working to reduce the number of people injured or killed in highway traffic incidents. However, once the EMS modern concept was “out of the barn," it grew to incorporate every type and phase of emergency medical care in the U.S. and—by emulation—many parts of the world.

Over the last two years, NHTSA has been hosting and providing technical advice to a blue ribbon task force focusing on the next era of nationwide EMS development via the aptly named EMS Agenda 2050. JEMS has been routinely reporting on the work and planning progress being made in and around this important process.

The group working to develop the next EMS road map has been designated as the Technical Expert Panel (TEP) and is being operationally managed by the REDHORSE Corporation. Likewise, the RedFlash Group is also under contract with the NHTSA to assist. Well-known EMS teacher and influencer Mike Taigman, who's officially the Improvement Guide with FirstWatch, is helping to facilitate the discussion and flow when the TEP meets.

As someone who's been engaged in and around emergency services since modern EMS began, I can report that the EMS Agenda 2050 group is doing solid and meaningful work. The ideas are flowing and the connections within the group—and across emergency services and expert networks—are helping pave a clearly proposed vision and template for the next era of truly modern EMS across the U.S.

Categories: EMS

Washington Firefighters Misuse Funeral Home Body for Intubation Training

JEMS - News - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 06:57

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (KOMO) – Mayor Kelli Linville said a training exercise went horribly wrong for a group of city firefighters when they mishandled a body.

Crews set out to practice their intubation skills, but the fire chief called their actions unprecedented and wrong.

When firefighters race to a call they have to be ready for so many situations - including helping unconscious patients to breathe. However, Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Newbold said the preparations staff took at Fire Station 1 crossed the line.

“I believe that this ended up to be completely misguided," Newbold said.

In July, a body was brought to Fire Station 1 to await transport to a funeral home. Before the body was taken away, city officials said a group of 11 firefighters used it to practice intubations, where a tube is inserted down the throat to open an airway.

“When you have someone who has passed away and their family isn't there to take care of them, we are the caretaker and we did not do our duty,” said Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville.

Several firefighters came forward later to report what they did.

 

Categories: EMS

Peer Support Groups Help Sedgwick County EMS Providers Deal with Psychological Trauma

JEMS - News - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 09:59

 

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) - Every nine minutes, Sedgwick County EMS is responding to a call.

"We take about 170 calls per day and transport 120 patients," explained, Former Director of Sedgwick Co. EMS Department, Scott Hadley. "That equates to about 63,000 calls a year and 44,000 patients."

Hadley told KSN the job can take a toll on first responders, whom become connected with the person on the other end of that 911 call or the person they're rushing into the emergency room, on a stretcher.

"Unfortunately as first responders, dispatchers, firefighters, law enforcement officer or paramedic; we don’t get to script the outcomes for patients and sometimes they don’t all turn out the way we want them," explained Hadley.

Categories: EMS

Wisconsin Paramedic, EMT Shortage

JEMS - News - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 06:11

GRAFTON (FOX6NOW) - In emergency situations, we count on paramedics and EMTs, and fire departments in Wisconsin and across the country are in dire need of volunteers.

"It's a problem all over metro Milwaukee, all over the state and all over the country," said Grafton Fire Chief William Rice.

Rice said his fire department is dealing with a major issue.

 

Categories: EMS

Severe Flooding Feared for South Carolina Coast

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:53

BLADENBORO, N.C. (AP) — Rivers swelling with the floodwaters of former Hurricane Florence are threatening to swamp communities near the South Carolina coast, leaving thousands ready to evacuate.

More than a week after Florence crashed into the Carolinas, dumping heavy rains, all that water is nearing the coast. Authorities in Georgetown County, South Carolina, said they have put as many as 8,000 people on alert for possible evacuations starting Monday in expectation of a "record event" of up to 10 feet (3 meters) floodwaters this week.

Officials are especially eyeing gauges along the Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers and said people should be ready to leave homes in the potential flood zones before possibly life-threatening flooding begins setting in as early as Tuesday.

Georgetown County's emergency management director, Sam Hodge, said in a video message posted online Sunday that shelters are being opened Monday for area residents and he pleaded with people to alert neighbors and friends to the possible dangers ahead. The community also was distributing free sandbags but said Monday was likely the last day to rush preparations before the affected should get out.

"From boots on the ground to technology that we have, we are trying to be able to get the message out," Hodge said in the video feed, advising people not to await an official evacuation order should they feel unsafe.

The flooding has been going on for days in neighboring North Carolina already, the water slowly meandering to the coast.

In North Carolina, five river gauges were still at major flood stage and five others were at moderate flood stage, according to National Weather Service. The Cape Fear River was expected to crest and remain at flood stage through the early part of the week, and parts of Interstates 40 are expected to remain underwater for another week or more.

Parts of Interstate 95 had also been expected to be underwater for days, but North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Sunday night that the major highway has been reopened to all traffic, as floodwaters had withdrawn faster than expected.

Categories: EMS

Severe Flooding Feared for South Carolina Coast

JEMS - News - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:53

BLADENBORO, N.C. (AP) — Rivers swelling with the floodwaters of former Hurricane Florence are threatening to swamp communities near the South Carolina coast, leaving thousands ready to evacuate.

More than a week after Florence crashed into the Carolinas, dumping heavy rains, all that water is nearing the coast. Authorities in Georgetown County, South Carolina, said they have put as many as 8,000 people on alert for possible evacuations starting Monday in expectation of a "record event" of up to 10 feet (3 meters) floodwaters this week.

Officials are especially eyeing gauges along the Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers and said people should be ready to leave homes in the potential flood zones before possibly life-threatening flooding begins setting in as early as Tuesday.

Georgetown County's emergency management director, Sam Hodge, said in a video message posted online Sunday that shelters are being opened Monday for area residents and he pleaded with people to alert neighbors and friends to the possible dangers ahead. The community also was distributing free sandbags but said Monday was likely the last day to rush preparations before the affected should get out.

"From boots on the ground to technology that we have, we are trying to be able to get the message out," Hodge said in the video feed, advising people not to await an official evacuation order should they feel unsafe.

The flooding has been going on for days in neighboring North Carolina already, the water slowly meandering to the coast.

In North Carolina, five river gauges were still at major flood stage and five others were at moderate flood stage, according to National Weather Service. The Cape Fear River was expected to crest and remain at flood stage through the early part of the week, and parts of Interstates 40 are expected to remain underwater for another week or more.

Parts of Interstate 95 had also been expected to be underwater for days, but North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Sunday night that the major highway has been reopened to all traffic, as floodwaters had withdrawn faster than expected.

Categories: EMS

Severe Flooding Feared for South Carolina Coast

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:53

BLADENBORO, N.C. (AP) — Rivers swelling with the floodwaters of former Hurricane Florence are threatening to swamp communities near the South Carolina coast, leaving thousands ready to evacuate.

More than a week after Florence crashed into the Carolinas, dumping heavy rains, all that water is nearing the coast. Authorities in Georgetown County, South Carolina, said they have put as many as 8,000 people on alert for possible evacuations starting Monday in expectation of a "record event" of up to 10 feet (3 meters) floodwaters this week.

Officials are especially eyeing gauges along the Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers and said people should be ready to leave homes in the potential flood zones before possibly life-threatening flooding begins setting in as early as Tuesday.

Georgetown County's emergency management director, Sam Hodge, said in a video message posted online Sunday that shelters are being opened Monday for area residents and he pleaded with people to alert neighbors and friends to the possible dangers ahead. The community also was distributing free sandbags but said Monday was likely the last day to rush preparations before the affected should get out.

"From boots on the ground to technology that we have, we are trying to be able to get the message out," Hodge said in the video feed, advising people not to await an official evacuation order should they feel unsafe.

The flooding has been going on for days in neighboring North Carolina already, the water slowly meandering to the coast.

In North Carolina, five river gauges were still at major flood stage and five others were at moderate flood stage, according to National Weather Service. The Cape Fear River was expected to crest and remain at flood stage through the early part of the week, and parts of Interstates 40 are expected to remain underwater for another week or more.

Parts of Interstate 95 had also been expected to be underwater for days, but North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Sunday night that the major highway has been reopened to all traffic, as floodwaters had withdrawn faster than expected.

Categories: EMS

Severe Flooding Feared for South Carolina Coast

JEMS - News - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:53

BLADENBORO, N.C. (AP) — Rivers swelling with the floodwaters of former Hurricane Florence are threatening to swamp communities near the South Carolina coast, leaving thousands ready to evacuate.

More than a week after Florence crashed into the Carolinas, dumping heavy rains, all that water is nearing the coast. Authorities in Georgetown County, South Carolina, said they have put as many as 8,000 people on alert for possible evacuations starting Monday in expectation of a "record event" of up to 10 feet (3 meters) floodwaters this week.

Officials are especially eyeing gauges along the Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers and said people should be ready to leave homes in the potential flood zones before possibly life-threatening flooding begins setting in as early as Tuesday.

Georgetown County's emergency management director, Sam Hodge, said in a video message posted online Sunday that shelters are being opened Monday for area residents and he pleaded with people to alert neighbors and friends to the possible dangers ahead. The community also was distributing free sandbags but said Monday was likely the last day to rush preparations before the affected should get out.

"From boots on the ground to technology that we have, we are trying to be able to get the message out," Hodge said in the video feed, advising people not to await an official evacuation order should they feel unsafe.

The flooding has been going on for days in neighboring North Carolina already, the water slowly meandering to the coast.

In North Carolina, five river gauges were still at major flood stage and five others were at moderate flood stage, according to National Weather Service. The Cape Fear River was expected to crest and remain at flood stage through the early part of the week, and parts of Interstates 40 are expected to remain underwater for another week or more.

Parts of Interstate 95 had also been expected to be underwater for days, but North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Sunday night that the major highway has been reopened to all traffic, as floodwaters had withdrawn faster than expected.

Categories: EMS

Travel Still Dangerous in Flooded North Carolina

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:45

BLADENBORO, N.C. (AP) — Travel remained dangerous Saturday in southeastern North Carolina, where the governor warned of "treacherous" floodwaters more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, and urged residents to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders.

Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state's river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more. Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week.

"Hurricane Florence has deeply wounded our state, wounds that will not fade soon as the flood waters finally recede," Cooper said.

South Carolina also has ordered more evacuations as rivers continue to rise in the aftermath of a storm that has claimed at least 43 lives since slamming into the coast more than a week ago.

The small farming community of Nichols, South Carolina, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the coast, was completely inundated by water, Mayor Lawson Batter said Saturday. He called the situation "worse than Matthew," the 2016 hurricane that destroyed almost 90 percent of the town's 261 homes. Battle said flooding from Florence has wiped out the 150 or so homes rebuilt afterward.

"It's just a mess," said Battle, who was awaiting a visit from Gov. Henry McMaster. "We will try everything we can to come back ... but we need to have federal and state help."

Benetta White and David Lloyd were among 100 people rescued with helicopters, boats and high-wheeled military vehicles during a six-hour operation in southeastern North Carolina's Bladen County that lasted into Friday morning — their second evacuation in a week. White and Lloyd, who live in the North Carolina town of Kelly, were given little time Thursday night to evacuate when the Cape Fear River came rushing onto their property. By the time they loaded their van, they had to slog through waist-high, foul-smelling water to get to a neighbor's pickup.

Categories: EMS

Travel Still Dangerous in Flooded North Carolina

JEMS - News - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:45

BLADENBORO, N.C. (AP) — Travel remained dangerous Saturday in southeastern North Carolina, where the governor warned of "treacherous" floodwaters more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, and urged residents to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders.

Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state's river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more. Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week.

"Hurricane Florence has deeply wounded our state, wounds that will not fade soon as the flood waters finally recede," Cooper said.

South Carolina also has ordered more evacuations as rivers continue to rise in the aftermath of a storm that has claimed at least 43 lives since slamming into the coast more than a week ago.

The small farming community of Nichols, South Carolina, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the coast, was completely inundated by water, Mayor Lawson Batter said Saturday. He called the situation "worse than Matthew," the 2016 hurricane that destroyed almost 90 percent of the town's 261 homes. Battle said flooding from Florence has wiped out the 150 or so homes rebuilt afterward.

"It's just a mess," said Battle, who was awaiting a visit from Gov. Henry McMaster. "We will try everything we can to come back ... but we need to have federal and state help."

Benetta White and David Lloyd were among 100 people rescued with helicopters, boats and high-wheeled military vehicles during a six-hour operation in southeastern North Carolina's Bladen County that lasted into Friday morning — their second evacuation in a week. White and Lloyd, who live in the North Carolina town of Kelly, were given little time Thursday night to evacuate when the Cape Fear River came rushing onto their property. By the time they loaded their van, they had to slog through waist-high, foul-smelling water to get to a neighbor's pickup.

Categories: EMS

Travel Still Dangerous in Flooded North Carolina

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:45

BLADENBORO, N.C. (AP) — Travel remained dangerous Saturday in southeastern North Carolina, where the governor warned of "treacherous" floodwaters more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, and urged residents to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders.

Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state's river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more. Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week.

"Hurricane Florence has deeply wounded our state, wounds that will not fade soon as the flood waters finally recede," Cooper said.

South Carolina also has ordered more evacuations as rivers continue to rise in the aftermath of a storm that has claimed at least 43 lives since slamming into the coast more than a week ago.

The small farming community of Nichols, South Carolina, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the coast, was completely inundated by water, Mayor Lawson Batter said Saturday. He called the situation "worse than Matthew," the 2016 hurricane that destroyed almost 90 percent of the town's 261 homes. Battle said flooding from Florence has wiped out the 150 or so homes rebuilt afterward.

"It's just a mess," said Battle, who was awaiting a visit from Gov. Henry McMaster. "We will try everything we can to come back ... but we need to have federal and state help."

Benetta White and David Lloyd were among 100 people rescued with helicopters, boats and high-wheeled military vehicles during a six-hour operation in southeastern North Carolina's Bladen County that lasted into Friday morning — their second evacuation in a week. White and Lloyd, who live in the North Carolina town of Kelly, were given little time Thursday night to evacuate when the Cape Fear River came rushing onto their property. By the time they loaded their van, they had to slog through waist-high, foul-smelling water to get to a neighbor's pickup.

Categories: EMS

Travel Still Dangerous in Flooded North Carolina

JEMS - News - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:45

BLADENBORO, N.C. (AP) — Travel remained dangerous Saturday in southeastern North Carolina, where the governor warned of "treacherous" floodwaters more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, and urged residents to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders.

Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state's river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more. Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week.

"Hurricane Florence has deeply wounded our state, wounds that will not fade soon as the flood waters finally recede," Cooper said.

South Carolina also has ordered more evacuations as rivers continue to rise in the aftermath of a storm that has claimed at least 43 lives since slamming into the coast more than a week ago.

The small farming community of Nichols, South Carolina, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the coast, was completely inundated by water, Mayor Lawson Batter said Saturday. He called the situation "worse than Matthew," the 2016 hurricane that destroyed almost 90 percent of the town's 261 homes. Battle said flooding from Florence has wiped out the 150 or so homes rebuilt afterward.

"It's just a mess," said Battle, who was awaiting a visit from Gov. Henry McMaster. "We will try everything we can to come back ... but we need to have federal and state help."

Benetta White and David Lloyd were among 100 people rescued with helicopters, boats and high-wheeled military vehicles during a six-hour operation in southeastern North Carolina's Bladen County that lasted into Friday morning — their second evacuation in a week. White and Lloyd, who live in the North Carolina town of Kelly, were given little time Thursday night to evacuate when the Cape Fear River came rushing onto their property. By the time they loaded their van, they had to slog through waist-high, foul-smelling water to get to a neighbor's pickup.

Categories: EMS

Emotional Retirement Ceremony for Colombia Search Dogs

JEMS - News - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:34

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Fourteen police dogs received medals and diplomas during an emotional retirement ceremony in Colombia's capital Friday as they wrapped up years of service sniffing out drugs, bombs and bodies.

Some of the German shepherds, pit bulls and golden retrievers were treated to special scented baths before they were retired during the event in an auditorium at the Chief Prosecutor's Office.

Among the retired dogs was "Canela," a 12-year-old Labrador who helped investigators undercover 65 mass graves containing the victims of paramilitary violence, and "Negra," a pit bull mutt who helped detect several tons of cocaine in her eight-year career.

Officials plan to put the dogs up for adoption, placing them with families that will help them live out their retirement years in peace. Some dogs could also be taken in by their former handlers.

"We've shared a lot of things together and they are like our children," said David Maldonado, Negra's handler.

Police dogs in Colombia often participate in dangerous missions, sniffing out landmines for officers who eradicate coca fields, or rescuing bodies in combat zones.

"Sombra," which is Spanish for shadow, was recently relocated from her base on the country's Caribbean coast, after drug traffickers, angry over her success at sniffing out cocaine shipments, offered a bounty of $7,000 for her head.

Hundreds of dogs serve with Colombia's police and military. A canine school run by the police near Bogota also provides training for dogs and handlers from other Latin American countries.

Colombia's police dogs are usually retired when they reach eight or nine years old, and in the past they were then kept in kennels where police veterinarians provided them with food, play and medical treatment. But recently, Colombia's police have been looking for families to adopt the dogs. Earlier this month, the Anti-Narcotics Police put up 50 of its retired dogs for adoption.

Categories: EMS

Emotional Retirement Ceremony for Columbia Search Dogs

JEMS - News - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:34

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Fourteen police dogs received medals and diplomas during an emotional retirement ceremony in Colombia's capital Friday as they wrapped up years of service sniffing out drugs, bombs and bodies.

Some of the German shepherds, pit bulls and golden retrievers were treated to special scented baths before they were retired during the event in an auditorium at the Chief Prosecutor's Office.

Among the retired dogs was "Canela," a 12-year-old Labrador who helped investigators undercover 65 mass graves containing the victims of paramilitary violence, and "Negra," a pit bull mutt who helped detect several tons of cocaine in her eight-year career.

Officials plan to put the dogs up for adoption, placing them with families that will help them live out their retirement years in peace. Some dogs could also be taken in by their former handlers.

"We've shared a lot of things together and they are like our children," said David Maldonado, Negra's handler.

Police dogs in Colombia often participate in dangerous missions, sniffing out landmines for officers who eradicate coca fields, or rescuing bodies in combat zones.

"Sombra," which is Spanish for shadow, was recently relocated from her base on the country's Caribbean coast, after drug traffickers, angry over her success at sniffing out cocaine shipments, offered a bounty of $7,000 for her head.

Hundreds of dogs serve with Colombia's police and military. A canine school run by the police near Bogota also provides training for dogs and handlers from other Latin American countries.

Colombia's police dogs are usually retired when they reach eight or nine years old, and in the past they were then kept in kennels where police veterinarians provided them with food, play and medical treatment. But recently, Colombia's police have been looking for families to adopt the dogs. Earlier this month, the Anti-Narcotics Police put up 50 of its retired dogs for adoption.

Categories: EMS

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