Aggregate Industries hosts search-and-rescue exercise

By |  August 26, 2013

Aggregate Industries and the International Rescue Dog Organization, based in Austria, put on a search-and-rescue test at the Aggregate Industries K-9 Testing Facility in Littleton, Mass. Rescue dogs and their handlers underwent rigorous testing, including a search for volunteer human “survivors” under piles of rubble.

Aggregate Industries built the Littleton K-9 Testing Facility in 2010, when the company first hosted a similar event with the Massachusetts Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team. The course included specially designed rubble piles to replicate situations in which dogs must locate buried survivors. Dogs were tested in three different search disciplines: rubble, area search and tracking.

“To be able to focus in the chaotic environment of a disaster site, search-and-rescue dogs need to be comfortable working on rubble piles of collapsed buildings,” says Debora Ash, operational leader for Canine Alert Search Teams, which hosted the overall event. “This can only be achieved by training and testing exercises like the one in Littleton.”

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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