Colleyville search dog on his 1st assignment in West

Posted Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- The first assignment for Hayden as a search dog with Texas Task Force 2 was early Thursday in what Gov. Rick Perry called a "truly nightmare scenario."

Hayden and Mike Hargrove of Colleyville arrived within hours after the West Fertilizer Co. exploded, killing an unknown number of people and injuring more than 160.

"They hit it running right when they got there," said Mary Hargrove of Colleyville, referring to her husband and their black lab-mix. "It was dark but that wouldn't have hindered their search."

The Colleyville couple and their three dogs have been involved in search cases since March 2009 with Search 1 Rescue Team and just recently with Texas Task Force 2.

Each year, Mary Hargrove estimated that they go out on 15 to 20 cases requiring their dogs, Hayden, Duke or Josey.

Hayden is disaster certified, meaning his search expertise is more in rubble left by tornadoes or fires. Duke has been trained more for wide searches such as in woods.

"Depending on conditions, a dog could search for hours," Mary Hargrove said Thursday. "So far from what he(Mike) told me Hayden is doing great."

More than 100 members of Texas Task Force 1 and 2 combed through the rubble accompanied by other search dogs.

About 80 members were from Texas Task Force 1 which go to assignments in the state and across the nation. The team includes firefighters, doctors, search specialists and structural engineers, and they have been deployed 80 times since 1997 at scenes such as the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy and the 9/11 terroristic attacks.

Four Fort Worth firefighters were deployed with Texas Task Force 1 on Thursday as other area firefighters and civilians were on standby in North Texas.

About 35 members of Texas Task Force 2 which have similar members as Force 1 were sent to West, 26 came from the Dallas Fire Department, said Dallas fire Lt. Joel Lavender on Thursday.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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