Warren County firefighters are training search and rescue K-9s

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Right now, Warren County volunteer firefighters are training K-9’s for search and rescue.

The county government agencies do not own any search and rescue certified K-9’s.

But soon, three Warren County firefighters will be handlers for four of them.

Meet Atlas, Anubis, Handsome Jack and Hope, four search and rescue K-9’s in training.

Atlas is a German Shepherd, and Anubis is a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix. Both are handled by Jeramie Briscoe with the Barren River Fire Department.

“Well, it was always something that I wanted to do. I’ve been in the fire service in Franklin, Kentucky before I came to Warren County. These dogs, they are great dogs and I always love to help the community, and there is a need for Warren County and the other areas so I enjoy doing what I am doing,” said Briscoe.

Handsome Jack, a German Shepherd adopted from the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society, is handled by Chris Whitehurst with the Plano Fire Department.

“I’ve been on numerous search and rescue missions where I have seen dogs deployed. It’s just another asset that can be used, and it’s just a way to diversify the resources that we have on searches. So it’s just something that became an interest of me and through good fortune of local Logan and Hart County handlers, they have provided us with a good foundation and starting point to test these dogs,” said Whitehurst.

Hope is a Belgian Malinois handled by Sabahudin Cerimovic with the Barren River Fire Department.

“I think they should be the first one to be called because they can cover a lot more ground and get a person back home safely rather than just trying to get people and equipment there,” said Cerimovic.

The three handlers were not aware of each other’s plans until after they all began training, and now, they are working together.

Once certified, all four dogs will be able to track missing people, but Handsome Jack is learning to find remains as well.

Each of the three handlers paid for their animals and are providing the training on their own dime and their own time.

The handlers hope to have the dogs certified and ready to go by May.