AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The Richmond County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit was at Doctor's Hospital Wednesday as part of a training seminar with first responders.
Blecky, Haiti and Carson are dogs that work with the K-9 Unit for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. They helped emergency responders at Doctors Hospital learn how to work hand-in-hand - or hand-in-paw - with the K-9 Task Force.
Deputy Patrick Cullinan said this type of training is crucial when working in the field.
"We're always going to be working hand-in-hand with fire and EMS, and so we want them to know what the dog's job is going to be," Cullinan said. "And if there is an emergency, we've also trained them today as far as how to give first aid to one of our dogs if we and our dogs were to go down."
First responders got to see the narcotics and bomb squad dogs in action as they sniffed the room for the smell of drugs or potential explosives.
This training is part of free continuing education classes provided by Doctors Hospital. Lisa Smith is the EMS Coordinator for Doctors Hospital, and said this seminar was one attendees were especially excited for.
"Everybody loves a dog, and these dogs, they can do the work of 10 officers in half of the time," Smith said. "I wanted to be able to showcase the unsung heroes that handle those dogs, and give the dogs the credit for what they do."
Smith says the four-legged friends are essential in keeping you and first responders safe.
"These dogs and their handlers play such a vital role in the safety of EMS and fire and other law enforcement," she said. "They're able to clear a scene for whatever threat it may be and they also help deter any further aggression on the scene."
The last seminar with the K-9 unit was in 1996. Coordinators say they hope another training session like this can happen on a much more regular basis.
For more information on the Richmond County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit, you can visit their website.