NYPD sending two officers and K-9 partners to assist Washington state mudslide search

April 3, 2014 From NYPD DCPI
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Tuesday night, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security activated part of New York Task Force 1 (NY-TF1), a search and rescue team made up of the most highly trained first responders in the nation. Two NYPD Canine Team Officers, were deployed to Washington State. Detective Patrick Nee and his partner, Hondo, a six-year-old German Shepard, along with Police Officer Benjamin Colecchia and his partner, Timoshenko, a three-year-old German Shepard, both assigned to the recently established Detection Team, have been deployed to assist in recovery efforts in Washington State due to catastrophic mudslides.  K-9 Timoshenko is named in memory of Detective Russel Timoshenko, who was killed in the line of duty on July 9, 2007.

FEMA established the National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System in 1989 as a framework for structuring local emergency services personnel into integrated disaster response task forces.  New York Task Force 1 is staffed by elite members of the NYPD, FDNY, and OEM, and includes rescue specialists, emergency physicians, paramedics, structural engineers, hazardous materials technicians and K-9 specialists.

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Today, there are 28 national task force teams staffed and equipped to conduct round-the-clock search-and-rescue operations following earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, aircraft accidents, hazardous materials spills and catastrophic structure collapses. In January 2010, NY-TF1, consisting of 80 members of the NYPD, which also included four search dogs and 38 members of the FDNY, were deployed to Haiti to assist in the search and rescue efforts after Haiti’s devastating earthquake. The team members conducted six rescues, one of which was within hours of arriving in Haiti.

NY-TF1 has been previously deployed to numerous major weather related incidents that included hurricanes Ike, Gustav, Katrina, and the Oklahoma City bombing.

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