Best in Show: Our Search and Rescue Dogs
The science of search and rescue has changed rapidly in the aftermath of 9/11. Heat-detection drones and high-tech rovers now deploy with regularity on disaster sites across the world. Yet, when it comes to saving lives, no piece of technology can compare to a dog’s nose. From superstorms to wreckage zones, search and rescue dogs have become a gold standard of Homeland Security emergency response.
How do low-tech canine units complement a high-tech operating space? Despite new technology, search and rescue dogs’ ability to adapt, track, and integrate with technology makes them crucial for long-term homeland security operations. Here’s why:
Dogs Adapt to the Mission – According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the 2018 operational activities of its agencies range from severe weather response to school safety. Unlike drones and sensors, search and rescue dogs do not need to be reset, updated, or recalibrated. A dog capable of detecting survivors can find them as easily on the border as they can in a collapsed building
Dogs are Born to Track – Advances in thermal imaging, vibration detectors and aerial drones have all aided the speed and success rate of emergency response teams. However, since the 1600’s, dogs have functioned to sniff, track and trail humans or specific items buried under snow, concrete and even water. While technology may eventually match this skill, dogs are innately born with olfactory sensors that can potentially discriminate against over 100,000 unique odors. Along with its nose, a dog’s sense of play pushes it to find targets over vast distances with a speed that outperforms modern technology
Dogs Work with Tech – Advances in technology have not only put drones in the sky, but they’ve also increased the effectiveness of search and rescue dog teams on the ground. Electronic collars, smart vests, and GPS trackers have all added to the adaptability of search and rescue teams. From searching for cadavers to securing school zones, canine teams can upgrade and modify to meet specific mission needs. Instead of viewing technology as a replacement for dogs, high-tech gear can serve as an amplifier to an already exceptional emergency response asset
From avalanches to floods, search and rescue dogs have saved lives in disasters across the world. At Arc Aspicio, we respect these animals and view them as crucial resources in supporting and protecting the community. To date, Arc Aspicio has funded eight search and rescue dog teams through the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF), which saves dogs from shelters and trains them to save lives. While they may not win pageant ribbons, our search and rescue dogs are the Best in Show.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio enhances the future of our nation by creating bold ideas and bringing them to life. A consulting and solutions company, Arc Aspicio solves problems by applying our integrated capabilities in strategy, design, data, human capital, behavioral science, and technology. The company passionately pursues our vision to be the hub of creativity where people take action to change the world. To do this, employees collaborate with clients and partners to create solutions using a human-centered approach. Innovation is not possible without action. The company focuses on strategy first, then takes a hands-on approach implementing ideas to achieve results. Join Arc Aspicio and our Strategy Innovation Lab (SILab) by creating and sharing ideas to inspire people to change the world. Follow us on Twitter @ArcAspicio @SILabDC and learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.
The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF), founded in 1996, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to strengthening disaster response in America by recruiting rescue dogs and partnering them with first responders to find people buried alive the wreckage of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. SDF provides professional training and lifetime care for the canines at no cost to the first responders. SDF teams have assisted in the rescue and recovery of earthquake victims in Nepal, Haiti, and Japan, and recently assisted with the recovery from Hurricane Matthew on the East Coast of the United States. For more information on SDF, please visit https://searchdogfoundation.org.