Michigan Search and Rescue trains dogs to find missing persons

It’s a group made up solely of volunteers. Tim Burns is the Training Director for the Michigan search and Rescue team.

“The more people you have searching, the more possibility, probability of detecting that person and finding the lost person,” Burns said.

Field Support Specialist Lucy Reeck joined 2 1/2 years ago. She’s only 18-years-old.

“I enjoy it. It’s a great community and I love the idea of being able to help a family one day,” Reeck said.

The help of highly trained dogs often gives families hope that they will get their lost loved ones back or at least get some closure.

Here in this building the Michigan Search and Rescue team has cadaver dogs, urban disaster dogs and air scent dogs who try to find humans like me.

“The dog will probably pursue you and actually get into these palettes and find you. When the dog actually finds you, it is going to come back to its handler and give what we call a trained indication,” Wilderness Dog Handler Dave Holcomb said.

Cindy Coffman says trainings like this in the warehouse and those done outside in the woods and fields are vital to the group’s success.

“Training is our life,” Coffman said. “Every single training opportunity we have is a chance of working on something that may help find someone who is in need of help.”

Wilderness dog handler Dave Holcomb couldn’t agree more.

“That’s what this group is all about is to teach people how to train the dogs and then to also be able to have the protocols to be able to keep yourself safe out in the wilderness,” Holcomb said.

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